Thursday, December 31, 2009

"A LITTLE TASTE OF LIFE ON THE EDGE"

A BULLETHOLES NEW YEARS EVE REDUX

Back in 1999 I was lucky enough to live in a very bad part of town.
As I would pull down the gravel alley at 5:30 in the morning on my way to work, there were two girls on the corner that always asked me if I wanted a "date". Being a bit of a rube, it took me a while to figure out what was going on there.
But before long, as I would pull into the alley at the end of the day, and they would wave at me and I would holler out the window
"Hellllloooo Ladies!", "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!" or "Honey, I'm home!"
And these girls would all laugh and wave because, well, am a funny guy, even to a whore.
Some times I would go to the corner and talk with them late at night, staying out of sight so as to not drive off any prospects. There were probably 3 or4 girls that worked that area at any given time.
One night a guy I knew from High School pulled up.
Boy-howdy, was he surprised to see me!
But thats not what this story is about.

This story is about the very pretty little whore that would work the streets on occasion. She had beautiful, soft looking, well groomed hair that she would toss about in a very sexy way. She seemed different from the other girls…very different. She was pretty and clean and wasn't all schitzed out, mumbling to herself, or pacing back and forth incessantly.
I figured she was a "Part-Timer"; a bored housewife that came out on occasion for a little taste of life on the edge.

One morning in my driveway I was checking the oil in my truck. This pretty little whore was passing by and so I said
“Good morning”, because really, I had been dying to say something to this pretty little whore.
She stopped and tossed her hair back and shielded her eyes from the sun and says
‘Whatcha’ doin'?”
I looked at her as I slid the rag slowly down my dipstick.
“Jus’ checkin’ my oil “ I says, and added with a grin “Would you like me to check YOUR oil?”
She didn’t miss a beat and fired right back:
“Would YOU like to check my oil?”
She was smiling pretty as she tossed that sexy hair around again.

Well, I must have turned about 5 shades of red, because, yes, I would have liked to check her oil, but I really did not have the guts to go about it.
Of course, she already knew all this, but decided to let me off the hook.
“You don’t “date” do you?”
It was less a question, and more of a statement spoken as a matter of fact.
“No ma’am, I don’t…I’m probably better off all by myself”. I don’t think I have ever felt more embarrassed my whole life.
“OK” she says, flips her hair back and starts away.
She got a few steps away. It may sound silly, but I had some notion that maybe I had hurt her feelings. So I added as she walked away:
"You are awful pretty though.”
She stopped and turned around and just laughed and flashed a big pretty smile, and said
"And you are awful sweet, and are probably better off all by yourself” and tossed all that sexy hair as she turned away while waving good-bye. She had let me off the hook again.


A few nights later on New Years Eve, a happy married couple I know saw her and they pulled over to the right in their Convertible Rag-topped Corvette. It was nice out, and they had the top down. They wanted to know how much she would charge to take on the both of them!
Just a little curious, they were... just wanted to see what it might cost for a little taste of life on the edge.
Before you could say “Tit-Bit and Gimme a Dollar” they were surrounded by the Vice Squad.
They were arrested and spent New Years Eve in Jail.
Yep. You see…
That pretty young whore was a Cop.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
YA'LL BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

Monday, December 28, 2009

TIME WARP

So I went to my friend Angela’s for Mexican food on Christmas right?
That gal can cook, I tell you what, and she sent me home with these killer Chili Relleno’s, some refried Black Beans and some Chicken enchiladas. Saturday afternoon I started playing around on the computer. After a while I got hungry and warmed up about 10 of those Rellenos and ate them all. Then it was time for a nap.
I fell asleep.
I slept hard.
I dreamed I was on a boat in Los Angeles, Ann Margaret sitting in my lap.
Then I was on a ski lift in the Sierra’s, about to hit the slopes with Britt Eklund.
I was exploring the ruins at Mesa Verde’, looking good in my Indiana Jones attire, digging in the dirt with Kim Basinger.
I dreamed Susan Sarandon invited me up to do the Time Warp at her place on New Years Eve.
That was the best one.
I slept real hard, I dreamed long dreams. I woke, fell back into my slumber, woke again and got a blanket and fell into a deep, deep sleep.

I woke up. The clock said 7:00.
My god, I slept all night! I was starving! I had pillow face!
I turned on the computer, there were several people on Facebook. I sent out a message that read
“(yawn) I’m hungry”
I got a reply back from Carol
“Hi Steve! Merry Christmas. How are you?”
“I’m sleepy Carol, and I am hungry. I have been asleep since yesterday afternoon!”
“Are you sick” she asks.
“No, I just ate a bunch of Rellenos and they knocked me out”
So Carol replies with
“I get up every morning at 6:00 and drink Brazillian Coffee”

Now what this statement does is cement in my mind the notion that it is 7:00 on Sunday Morning.
And while I am a bit surprised that there are actually half a dozen people on Facebook this early in the morning, I don’t give it much consideration because I have got this cold hollow feeling in my gut, and my mission has turned to one of procuring some FOOD!
I’m thinking Donuts, Ham and Egg Croissants, Pancakes!
And now its almost 8:00, and I promised the crazy church lady I would be at Sunday School this morning.
So I hop into the shower and get dressed.
I’m really hungry. After all , I haven’t eaten since I had those Relleno’s yesterday afternoon at 4:00.
I’M FRIGGIN’ STARVING TO DEATH JUST THINKING ABOUT IT!!!
I go into the kitchen to take my medicine. Oh my gosh! I didn’t take my meds last night, so I double up on my dosage this morning.
I think I even have time to go to IHOP and have a “Fat Boy Breakfast”. That will be so good, and then I’ll stop for donuts to take to Sunday School, and pick up more for my 10:00 NA Meeting.
I turn out lights, and get to the TV which has been on all night.
Huh...what is “Americas most Wanted” doing on at 8:00 on a Sunday morning?
“They must replay it” I think to myself as I turn the TV off.
I go to the door, step outside and turn to lock the door…
Theres something funny going on here, I sense it, and I turn to look at the sky…
My God in heaven! Its black as night out here! And then it dawns on me…I did not sleep all night. I slept maybe two hours.
Its 8:15 Saturday night and I’m all dressed up with no place to go and I forgot to get Susan Sarandon’s phone number.
I’m caught in that region known as the Twilight Zone.


"PLEASE DON'T GO STEVE, I WANT TO TIME WARP AGAIN"
(whenever you say, Susan, whenever you say)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CHRISTMAS ORANGES


I gotta get me some Christmas Spirit.
The Secretary brought me a basket of fruit. It had these little Oranges in it that she grew herself and wanted me to try. She was very proud of them, these little Oranges.
She said 'They are a little bit tart maybe".
I bit into one and made a bitter beer face and said "WHEW! They could make Listerine out of these!"
She laughed and said "You are a Chef; they must be good for something?"
You know what I said?
"Yeah, they are good for freshening up the garbage disposal!"

You should have seen her face. That hurt her feelings and now I'll be all week trying to make up for it.
I can be a real idiot sometimes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 07, 2009

499 DAYS

"We begin to see positive results from the decision we have made. We begin to notice changes. While the circumstances of our lives may not change, the way we deal with those circumstances does. Because we have made the decision to allow spiritual principles to work in our lives, we may notice a sense of relief. We are being relieved of a burden we’ve carried far too long: the need to control everything and everyone. We begin to react differently to the situations and people around us. As we gain acceptance, we cease to struggle against life on life’s terms. Striving to maintain and build on our surrender, we are better able to live and enjoy life in the moment."

Friday, December 04, 2009

SUMMER OF LOVE


I was the lead singer/songwriter for a band called "The Batmen" in 1967...
We had 4 songs, all to the tune of "Louie, Louie".
Our best song was called "Its Murder", all about homework and having to wear school clothes and things we thought we knew about girls and stuff.
They made me the lead singer, because I had a southern accent, which was unique as I lived in Detroit. We had moved there from Texas when I was in the first grade. My voice gave us a chillin' "Motown" sound, with just a touch of Hank Williams yodel, as my boyish voice was changing.
I played the Tamborine too, but the drummer he got all the chicks, except for Cathy, who was just a slut but I didn't care.
Hell, it was the Fourth Grade and I didn't even know what a slut was.
We had a gig in a basement one time, and someone turned out the lights and Cathy let me feel her breasts, 'cept she didn't really have any, but in the Fourth Grade, whats the difference?
After all, it was the Summer of Love, and like most rock stars of that era, I don't know how we lived through it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

INFLATION-WALK BETWEEN THE RAINDROPS

THEY SAY THE PRICE OF GOLD IS WAY UP.
Reminds me of the time I ditched a car because I couldn't see the road for all the smoke. Thought there might be a forest fire somewhere, except the smoke was all between me and the windshield.
It would have been sad it it weren't so funny.
I was so stoned I was only going about 8 miles an hour and still lost control. It was like the steering wheel had turned to rubber.
I had a choice between a creek and a light pole.
I hit the light pole. It turned out to be one that the traffic signal light is strung up on. The pole toppled onto my car, and the traffic signal dropped to the middle of the intersection.
It was like "WOW, MAN, WHAT A TRIP!" and I got out of my car, leaned on the hood to keep from rolling on the ground laughing, and just cracked up.

Then I realized there were a lot of electrical wires on my car, and that sobered me up considerably. Made me stop leaning on my car too.
Got rid of my stash and waited for the cops to arrive.
I even drove the car away after they got the pole and live-wires off of it.
Like walkin' between the raindrops.

Whats really noteworthy though is inflation.
In 1975 the cost for a light pole, traffic signal and all the amenities was like $2000 including Labor.
What do you figure this would cost today?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SUNDAY SCHOOL

I hadn't been for a few months but I went to my old Sunday School class the other day. I told them I now had 480 days clean and sober.
One shouted 'Hallelujah!" and another "Praise the Lord!" and that made me feel good.
But another lady there looked at me very kindly and said "Jesus already took care of all that at the cross for you."
I don't know what thats supposed to mean to me.
This is why I don't go very often.

Friday, November 13, 2009

CHARM SCHOOL

A true story inspired by Kissygirl's comment over at UF Mikes...

Dear Kissygirl:
I was at the donut stand a few days ago and there was a really pretty girl there behind me. I said "Good morning!" and gave her my best morning smile. She looked me up and down and gave me a great smile back and she laughed at all my jokes and just kept smiling and "checking me out". She even touched me lightly on my left arm TWICE as she laughed and fluttered her eyelashes.
We carried on for a few minutes like that!
So when I got to work I went into the bathroom and washed my hands, I looked in the mirror and was very surprised to find that my shirt was on inside out, and my left arm had a sock there where my bicep was s'posed to be.

So I have to wonder, Kissygirl:
Did she notice?
Did it matter if she did?
is there enough charm in the world to overcome being a bonehaed?
Or would I have been "knocked out of the park, however gently"?
Would this ploy count as "having game"?
I'm thinking I might put it to the test.
What the hell.





Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MOM

Dad had an old Brownie Camera, the kind that the top unfolds and the image is reflected up as you look down through a thick piece of glass.
One day at the store, Mom asked if I might want to take pictures with the camera and bought some film. I was 5 years old. She put the film in for me and set me on my way, out the door and into the field next door. I asked her what I should take pictures of and she told me “flowers”.
When I came back, I handed her the camera and a bouquet of flowers I had collected.
“Stevie, what are the flowers for?” she asked.
“Just in case the pictures don’t come out Mom”
She just laughed and kissed my head.

In the second grade we were allowed to walk home from school for lunch. Its hard to believe they let us do that. I always walked with Donna Hartlieb. We would part at the corner and meet again to return to school. Every day my mother gave me a Baby Snickers Bar for the walk back. I would split it with Donna on the corner. One day I asked Mom if I might have two candy bars.
She inquired as to why I would need two. I told her about Donna. I'll never forget the look on Mom's face.
"Why, yes, you certainly may!".
She was beaming! (to be continued)

It was 5:00 A.M. when Dad got to the Southlake Police Department to pick me up. Other parents had been called as well. We were all 15 years old, and Born to be Wild. There were no charges, just a case of returning minors that were out too late, driving family cars without the benefit of Drivers licenses, to their proper guardians.
After arriving home, Dad and I "went over a few things" and then we went to the parents of the several young ladies that had been a part of this episode in order for me to apologize.
When we returned from this thorny but very proper errand, Mom was waiting with a present for me. It was wrapped in paper with a bow and everything.
I unwrapped it wondering what it could be.
It was a watch.
As I slid it over my wrist Mom said to me in the most forgiving voice I have ever heard:
"I want you to always know what time it is".

Friday, November 06, 2009

WHAT WEIGHS MORE: A POUND OF GOLD OR A POUND OF FEATHERS?...

One of my NA Facebook pals asked me what I thought was the "measure of a man"....


I'm not too good at straight answers.

I'm still in a Scarecrow mode, so I'll answer with an anecdote from "The Wizard of Oz" that puzzles me from time to time...
"When it came time to give the Tin Man his heart, the wizard says:"The size of a heart is not measured by how much it loves, but by how much it is loved by others""
On a lighter note, I have attached a picture of Roy Rogers... without Roy.

I LOVE ROY ROGERS

By the way its the feathers that weigh more.

Monday, November 02, 2009

BEING SCARECROW







SUITS ME, DONCHA THINK?



Heres me and the Catwoman (Julie Newmar) cuttin' up in a cornfeild back when I was just a little bale of hay.

STEP TWO

"We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity "

"Belief in a Power greater than ourselves does not come easily to all of us. However, we have found an open mind indispensable when we approach this step. If we look around us, we find many reasons to believe. Our belief may simply be that we can recover from a life of active addiction. The freedom from the obsession to use may be our first experience of a Power greater than ourselves at work in our lives. Perhaps for the first time in many years, our obsession with drugs no longer controls our every waking moment. Knowing that we don’t have to use today is a powerful belief in and of itself."
From NA Literature "It works: How and Why"

I went to my first NA Meeting a year ago today. The first thing they told me was that this program was simple and would take a long time. I knew that they would try to sell me some kind of higher power and wondered how they would do that. but what they didn't tell me was how much difference just not using, just for today, would make in my life.
And that it would make a huge difference in my life inside a year.

I don't have to believe in Eden, or the God of Abraham, Issac and David, whoever they are supposed to be.
I don't have to believe that dogs licked the blood of Ahab, or that Shiva will destroy the word, or that by abandoning myself I will find enlightenment.
I don't have to believe or disbelieve that "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is his Prophet" or in the Six Articles of faith.
I don't have to believe in Life everlasting, the Second Coming, or Gabriels Horn

No, for guys like me that last sentence from the text really keeps my world turning...it asks little and guarantees nothing.
"Knowing that we don’t have to use today is a powerful belief in and of itself."

Friday, October 30, 2009

THE PROMISE

I went down to Glenrose two weeks ago at the invite of a friend (to read all about her, click here) to see the outdoor theater presentation of ‘The Promise”, a play all about the life of Jesus. There are several of these around the country, but it seems the one in Glenrose is the only permanent set. It has been in operation for 21 years now. For more information about “The Promise” and its season, venues, show times and how to get tickets, click here.

Now I used to be a pretty good little church boy. Maybe not so much anymore, but the life of Jesus, the story, its not entirely foreign to me, and I was very interested in seeing how “The Promise” would present three of my favorite scenes from the life of Jesus.

The first is the scene at the river, when Jesus meets John the Baptist and asks John to baptize him. John recognizes Jesus as being the Messiah, and tells Jesus he is "not worthy" to Baptize him.
Jesus says:
“John, you Baptize folks with water, but I come to Baptize 'em with fire and with the Holy Spirit!”.
So John goes ahead on and dips Jesus into the river. As he does there is a loud clap of thunder, and a puff of smoke over the stage from which flies a White Dove, representing the Holy Spirit. The dove flies over the audience and away into the night.
Then comes the booming voice of God himself:
“This is my only Son, with whom I am well pleased!”

The second scene I would like to describe to you occurs after Jesus has left John, and gone into the Wilderness for forty days and nights, and where he is tempted by Satan.
Satan is dressed in red and black with a menacing look and a long red cape. He comes to Jesus in the dessert and says:
”Come up to this high place, and throw yourself down. If you are truly the son of God, a band of Angels will catch you before you hit the ground.”
This is done on the stage, but at some point in that dialogue Jesus and the Devil both suddenly disappear from the stage, only to reappear just as suddenly on top of a 30 foot tower at the right of the stage. I do not know how they did this.
Maybe there is a trap door and a cable that quickly transports them, maybe its done with lights and mirrors, maybe there are doubles on top of the tower, or maybe its just a miracle!
I don’t know, but it’s a very cool scene.
Of course Jesus reply to Satan is that he “will not put the Lord my God to the test”. I’m not entirely sure what all that means, but I always liked the answer. I imagine it could be a bad habit to get into, and might really wear on the Lord.

Finally, the third scene I will describe to you comes after Jesus has performed many miracles. I had hoped that they would use this in the play as it is one of my favorite parts of the story, and I sat at the edge of my seat in anticipation. There are four women on stage, and they are singing a really beautiful song about what wonders they have seen, and how wonderful Jesus and his love and message has been. As Jesus moves through the crowd, he passes by one of these women singing and she drops to her knees and barely touches the bottom hem of his robe. He continues walking as if he did not even notice this light touch, then suddenly stops and turns to the woman.
He tells her that it is her faith that that has healed her, her faith that has made her whole.
Perhaps it is because I have so little faith that this scene appeals to me so much.

Whatever your belief, the story of Jesus is a great story, compelling and poignant in all its parts, and I always enjoy hearing it.
We come now to a time of year that the story figures prominently, and I hope that no matter what our beliefs might be, that we all can consider that which Jesus asked that we do:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.


Here is Jesus explaining to ol' Satan that "Man does not live by bread alone, but by ev'ry word of God"

Friday, October 23, 2009

"THE WARM THRILL OF CONFUSION"


Fella said:
“No way I’ll ever do any dope again! I have completely lost the desire to use!”
I had to give him a funny look.
“Is that right ?” I said.
“Yep” he replied, “You could put a big pile of dope on that table right there, and I would have no desire to use any of it. I’m done”
I said "Man, I wish I could say that, but I’m not so sure”
“Why not?” he asked.
‘Well, with me it could all depend on who it was that threw down that dope, and how do she look. It if was Velvet Skinned Annie dancin’ with a rose between her teeth, I’m afraid I might be right tempted to have a go again.”
Fella just looked at me kinda sober like, and went back to his seat.


******************************

See, that’s the way it is for an addict like me. I got rid of all my phone numbers, all my connections, all the people I used to use with. But the fact of the matter is that a relapse is only a phone call away, two at most, and by the end of business today I could be high-igh.

******************************

Its just different for me. I went to a movie Monday night. It was made by a couple of 20 year old kids, one of them being the son of a friend of mine.. It was about dope, and kids that were dealing, and one of them gets beat-up, and another gets shot and another OD’s and it was supposed to be all about the intense danger that looms in every users life. Not many movies can begin to portray the insidious nature of drugs, or reveal the depth of the insanity that makes their use so attractive to people like me.
And this movie, "Thrown", did not, though I have to say it was a major accomplisment and a grand venture for a couple of High School kids.
This post is not meant to disparage the Movie, but to illuminate the space that my addict mind sometimes occupies.

Some people might be able to watch a movie like this and think “Oh, gosh, I’ll never do any drugs! No way!”.
But you know what that movie did for me?
It made me want to go use some drugs.
It made me want to snort something, even if it were only Pop-Rocks.
See, I could make all that insanity work for me. I know I could.
I wanted a piece of that action, that confusion, that excitement. No one is going to get beat up, or OD or get shot. No, I’m too slick for all that. At least that’s what my addict mind wants to tell me.
After the movie, they had a question and answer period with the audience. People asked questions like “What kind of camera did you use?” and “Did you shoot that scene over by the Bedford library” and “How long did it take to film this movie?”

It was all I could do to sit on my hands and not ask two questions:
‘Have any of you ever done any dope? I don’t mean experimented, but really done the deal?” and “How much dope was used to produce this movie?”
A good friend of mine stood up, and he never asks any questions, but he likes to make a statement. He said
“I just hope some young people see this movie and it keeps them from ever using any drugs.”
I would hope so too, but my own experience is that it was the excitement and danger and counter-culture phenomena that led me to drugs. I needed more of a thrill than what the Chess Club and Methodist Youth Fellowship had to offer.

I left that theater and went straight to a meeting. These days I just thank God for Narcotics Anonymous, whose message is:

“Anyone can stop doing drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

"GOOOOOOD MORNIN'!"

I had a date this weekend!
I went down to Granbury, about an hour from Fort Worth to see an outdoor play called “The Promise”, all about the life and death of Jesus.
My friend lives in Granbury, right on the Golf Course. She has a sweet Greyhound named Gracie.
After the play I spent the night in the guestroom.
Just before turning in, she asked me:
“So, are you a morning person?”
To which I replied in my usual quite animated style:
‘You better betcha I am! I wake up, and the birds are chirpin’, and I pop out of bed and feel like a million bucks! I dance around, and sing a little song, sometimes ‘Rhinestone Cowboy” or ‘Baba O’Riley” by the Who or ‘Stolen Child”, that WB Yeats poem. I just feel so good, and love to be happy and friendly in the morning! In fact, my daughter says I am kinda hard to take in the morning”
She gave me a real sweet little thin grin, and then between clenched teeth, she said
“Well, I’m not!”

So the next morning I get up and true to form I am dancin’ and singin’ and jabberin’ away all kinds of nonsense the way I do.
By the end of breakfast, she had had about enough of me.
But that’s OK.
She was a very good hostess, and I never felt nervous or uneasy, and I even slept like a baby, which I don’t usually do when I am away from home.
And she might be able to say of me that I am goofy, silly, insane, immature, irresponsible and incompetent, and that I wear on ones last nerve like nobody she has ever met….
But she cannot say
‘That asshole was a real jerk”

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CREATION

I can almost hear the conversation....
Man: "God, how did you create all this stuff?"
God: "Create? I learned to instigate it, and to some extent, to guide it, but the results are hard to accurately predict."

I found the dialogue over at Souby's...and I added the names.
It seems like it would fit to me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"YESTERDAY"

Another UF Mike impression...

There is a very hostile undertone to this song which McCartneys Vienna choir-boy voice belies.
I was at a dive bar after Super Bowl 31 in the early days of Karaoke. A big hairy man in a tank-top took the stage.You could see just by his posture that he was angry, he was enraged, and he wanted some butt.
The ass kickin' kind of butt.
He brought out a side to this song I had never heard before. Mad as hell, he spat out the opening lines:

“Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away”
And today someone was going to get their ass kicked over it.
"Now it looks as though they’re here to stay"
That’s worth a major ass-whuppin’ right there.
But then this angry man with the scathing voice blurts out:
“Oh I believe in yesterday”
Frederich Nietzche called this a “re-sentiment”, later shortened to the more familiar “resentment”, in which one locks their heart forever to the past, and replays over and over again circumstances beyond their control, circumstances which, with a little sober effort, would obviously reveal themselves as having been brought about by their own defects.

So this big ‘ol boy, mad as hell and locked in the past gets to the chorus:
“‘Why she had to go…
I DON’T KNOW!”

When he said” I don’t know”, the glasses behind the bar rattled and nearly walked off the shelf.
There was no remorse, no guilt, no shame or contrition in his voice.
No, this guy was truly pissed that anyone would leave, and he was clueless as to why she might.
He really didn’t know.


"HEY, BRING THAT F'n MICROPHONE BACK. I WANNA SING "MUSKRAT LOVE"

Monday, October 12, 2009

DEAR DIARY

I took a girl out in High School and before we had our second date her mother found her diary.
There was no second date!

It reminds me of an old Bread song about a Diary from their album "Baby,I'm a Want You".

I found her diary underneath a tree.
and started reading about me
The words she's written took me by surprise
you'd never read them in her eyes.
They said that she had found the love she waited for.
Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it

Whoa, Nellie!

Nobody ever kept their Diary underneath a tree. Not unless they were a squirrel in love, a sensitive, deeply emotional right-brained squirrel with a lot of love to give. But squirrels generally do not keep diaries, no.
They are too busy gathering nuts. And tweaking. Ever see one jump sideways 20 feet and scramble 100 feet up a tree? I used to have friends did the same thing.

I have walked past, by, and through a great many trees. My granpa had a Pecan Farm, I've been to the redwood forest, and the piney woods too; there were squirrels everywhere, but never once did I find a diary. I've never heard of a Diary Tree, where diaries grow like ten dollar bills on the branches, falling with the leaves in autumn to sprout into little Diary Tree saplings.

No, the only way you are going to find a diary is if you are a sicko control freak or a jilted lover with a confidence problem. and you break a window or pick a lock and ransack someone’s house, looking through their drawers and under their bed and on the top shelf of their closets until you finally find the wall safe behind the Renoir, and you tear it out of the wall, drag it out to the car and speed down to the river bottom sticks where you can blow the lock and read all about yourself.

Or you can send your lover out for pizza, then ransack their house.
That's how you are going to get your hands on a diary.
No one leaves them "under a tree".
That would simply be bad journalism.
Maybe not as bad as this post.




My Diary! Gimme back my diary!

LIVED NINE LIVES GUNNED DOWN TEN GONNA RIDE RIDE LIKE THE WIND



Down here in Texas, everybody knows Christopher Cross.
“Ride Like the Wind” and ‘Sailing” were huge hits from his 1980 eponymous debut album, and together they brought Mr. Cross fame and fortune, earning him all of the "Big Four" Grammy Awards in one year, a feat that is yet to be equalled.
There were two #1's and three other songs that made the top 20 that year from that album.

He seemed to be everywhere all at once in the 80's.
After that it was hard to find anyone 'round these parts that didn’t have some connection to the ubiquitous Mr. Cross.
I know at least 10 people that have lived next door to him.
I know 20 people that lived in the same apartment complex.
I know at least 100 people that saw him regularly at the Piggly-Wiggly check out line.
Apparently, he attended 3 Major University's here in Texas, on no less than 11 campuses in the space of eight years.
I know a guy that studied with him Pre-Med and another guy who took his Bar Exam with Mr. Cross.
I knew a man whose father said he knew a man who was there the day Christopher Cross was born.

Me?
Hell, I played Badminton and drank lemonade with he and Lowell George at the Governors Mansion.

Friday, October 09, 2009

POLITICS

"Politics would be a helluva good business if it weren't for the goddamned people"
richard nixon

"Call it what you want, Rebate, Redistribution, Rodeo, whatever.
It all comes down to being just a good old fashioned bribe, hush money for the masses, the Cornerstone of Capitalism and Free Enterpise.
All things being equal, what is wrong with that?"
bulletholes


Richard Nixon presenting me with my Debate Trophy Belt Buckle from my very First Debate

Thursday, October 08, 2009

RESPECT

Went and bought me an outfit to wear to court.
Khaki pants, Slate Grey shirt with broad Tan and thin Lavender Plaids, with a nice Oleg Cassini Forest Green tie.
Totally Masculine, yet tres sensitive.
I haven’t worn a tie in 14 years.
Thought I’d show the event the respect it deserves.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

SLEEPIN' NIGHTS AIN'T SO BAD

Stayin’ clean for 440 days has not been that tough.
Its not near as tough as handing a guy you barely know and who has no visible means of support 100 bucks with the hope that he will be back in the next hour or two.
That he will be back at all.
Its not near as tough as concocting an explanation for why you have no Drivers license, Inspection Sticker, Registration, and your socks don’t match.
Its not nearly as difficult as trying to get through the next week with $4.58 to your name.
That’s tough.
Its not as hard as looking into your rear-view mirror and having a blood-clot heart attack because a cop is right behind you, or turning into someones driveway because you see one a few blocks up.
Its not nearly as hard as trying to remember the last place you put your shit can be, especially when the last time you slept was in line at Jack-in the Box four days ago.
Nope, sleepin’ nights really ain’t so bad.
Really, it ain’t that bad being able to look your boss, your kids, and your friends in the eye again; to make new friends and learn how to buy groceries, chew your food before you swallow, and clean a little on a regular basis instead of a 12 hour binge every 3 weeks.
Of course, I'm still working on that one.

Tomorrow, I graduate from my Probation, my case dismissed.
Funny, a year ago I figured that I would go get commode-huggin’ snot-slingin’ drunk after graduation. That I might even want to do a little dope in celebration, you know, what the hell.
The Court system brought me to Narcotics Anonymous. thats how most of us addicts get there. We come like prisoners, like refugee's, and the first thing they tell us is that we really don't have to use drugs today.
They tell us that we can lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.
Narcotics Anonymous really did give me a new way to live.
I might have been able to stay clean for 440 days through the court system, but still, I would be lost.
I would still be so lost.

Friday, October 02, 2009

MINNIE AND JOE

Minnie Ripperton sang “Lovin’ You”, a real Sweet Potato of a song and kept up her high pitched whine throughout with lyrics like:
"Lovin' you is easy cuz you're beautiful"
followed by the redundant
“Lalalalala,lalalala, lala-lala-lala,lalal, la-la-ah”
If it were not for the comma’s and the “Ah” at the end, one might fall asleep, except Minnie does liven it up with the suggestive
“And every time that we oooooh”
And that keyboard!
It had the energy of an old guy that to played a one man show at a bad restaurant I used to work at.

I remember driving down the street in 1974 with my buddy Steve Holland.
"Lovin'' You" came on the radio and Steve got all excited and said “I love this song”.
I do not know what a 16 year-old boy must be going through to like this song, but I always felt sorry for Steve after that.
If I had only had an FM radio in my car, it would never have happened.

Through sheer creative genius, the DJ’s of the period would often follow Ripperton’s offering with Joe Cocker, croaking out his hit “You Are So Beautiful”.
Now I liked this song, it even got me laid one time, but the overall effect of playing it after "Lovin’ You” was somewhat akin to treating a sprained ankle by submersing in ice, then applying heat.
Only without the health benefits.
And when Joe would try for that high note at the very end of the song, you can almost see him convulse spasmodically up on his toes and about to rip his pants from stem to stern and come up still a bit flat.
So there you have it.
Anyone seen Steve Holland?



WITH A CAR LIKE THIS, WHO NEEDS FM RADIO?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

JU-JU

I watched Mackenzie Phillips on the Oprah Show last week.
My mind immediately went to the Mama’s and the Papa’s, the famous Vocal group from the mid-sixties. And when I think of them, I have to think of Mama Cass Elliot, whose warm distinctive voice was essential to the groups success. “Mama Cass” was known for her size (she was a big mama) and having been hit on the head by a copper pipe which miraculously extended her vocal range.
One of the best lines in rock is the recurring line in their song “Creeque Alley” that ends each stanza.
“No one is getting fat ‘cept for Mama Cass”
"Creeque Alley” is a song that in just a few minutes' running time manages to present an account of all the band's history up to that present time, and in pretty good detail..
It’s a hint at both Cass Elliot's weight and her relative commercial/artistic success in the pre-Mamas days.

Anyway, that’s not what this post is really about.
This post is really about the hoopla over the reunion of Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertanelli, the two child stars of “One Day at a Time” on "OPRAH" last week..
It was supposed to be emotional and nostalgic, this reunion, but it seemed a bit contrived to me.
These people are stars, they are in the news, they have money to go anywhere anytime, and rack up frequent flyer miles like you wouldn’t believe.
If they have “lost” each other, its because they haven’t turned on their TV For the last 15 years and have managed to not see the tabloids at the grocery store.
Its not magic, its not amazing, its not even cathartic that these two wind up on Oprahs set.
Heartwarming, maybe, if you are into schmaltz.
Its predictable, and a sleight of hand sales pitch for Mackenzies book, God bless her heart.

No, this is what is amazing to me…

That four days ago I would talk to the mother a girlfriend I had but for a few weeks 31 years ago after seeing her last at Shavonnes funeral, and the first thing she would say to me was
“I think about you all the time, Steve”.
The story of Shavonne lies close to my secret heart; I talked to Shavonnes brother too, and was able to also share my dream with them, a dream I shared with you long ago.

I think it is noteworthy that I would look up an old acquaintance in Detroit Michigan and travel 41 years over time to be the first one to write on her newly formed Facebook wall. And that when I shared with her my post about "Stuttering Pete", that I would find that Pete is now a Disc Jockey for a local radio station, and funnier than ever.

But this is the one that takes the cake...
Three days ago I would put an inscription in a book that read
“Somewhere in this book it says “Hearts are tough, they mostly bend”
and ship that book faraway to a very dear friend that I had not seen or heard from in 33 years, only to have them read to me over the phone my inscription from their L.D. Bell Yearbook made in the spring of 1975 which ended like this:
“Just BEND a little bit, baby, but don’t break”

Man, thats some weird ass Ju-Ju there.

Monday, September 28, 2009

HOW TO CURE A LISP

Do not breath the “Green Gas” that Mel and I used as an initiation rite into our Chemistry Club which also required a $1 non-refundable fee before we administered the gas which would send you to the hospital.
It will not cure your lisp.
It will kill you.

No, to cure your lisp, you will need a live Chicken, a can of Whipped Topping and a Ball Peen Hammer. Take the chicken to a Bingo Parlor and buy six cards. Let the chicken play the cards while you huff the gas in the can of Whip Topping. When your chicken wins the $500 prize( or not, it doesn’t matter, but its nice if she wins) then hit her over the head with the ball peen hammer. On the way home, stop by the store for more Whip Topping to huff while you fry that chicken up for dinner. After dinner, you may still have a lisp, but you won’t be able to feel your mouth, so whats the difference?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

WANG-CHUNG TONITE

I've been looking for something to post, and finally found a little inspiration...

It was the Opening Day of Deer Season, 1987. I was in the woods when I heard the Wang-Chung song "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" faintly through the trees. I followed the sound to a dilapidated three story building. It looked like George and Mary Baileys house from "Its a Wonderful Life"
The door swung open and I entered to find women everywhere in various stages of undress.
Two of them approached me and asked it I would like to "Wang-Chung tonite". I took off my blaze Orange cap and hunting vest and set down my gun. They asked that I leave my boots on.
I set about kissing the Blonde, while feeling up the other, a big busty Redhead.
This was more fun than hunting.
(Can I say that here?)
I moved my hand down from the redheads ample breast to between her legs and was surprised, no...SHOCKED to find a penis.
My mind was split into three parts....one part was how good a kisser the blonde presently was; two was how truly hot this redhead was,; and three what to do with this dick in my hand.

All I remember was thinking "Well, ol son, you do know what to do with a dick, don't you?" and that "this IS way more fun than hunting" so....what the hell?

Thank God I woke up before I got too carried away.
Thats my Wang-chung story and I never thought I would actually ever tell it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A 9/11 RETROSPECTIVE

With all the entertaining I am doing over at Facebook, I forgot to post up my usual 9/11 story here.
I try to post it every year now, 'cept maybe I even forgot to last year. Its a story that goes almost like a Star Wars prequel. I hope it reminds you of how lucky we truly are to be Americans, and how unpredictable the future really is.


Everyone has their story to tell concerning 9/11 and so do I.

In February of 1993 I had been looking for a Chef position for several months. I finally found work with a good company out of Dallas called “Culinaire’ International” . They had their fingers in a lot of pots, so to speak, including several Private Clubs and a High End Catering operation that did a lot of business with Ross Perot. The biggest part of their operation was doing foodservice for some large concerns in the Trade Area of Dallas. In addition to the Apparell Mart (Clothing), the Info Mart (Technology) and Market Hall (Housewares and Furnishings), they also did events at the Dallas Convention Center. They worked out of a huge kitchen in the World Trade Center @ Dallas.

Bear with me here...

On a “try-out” basis, I was hired to work mainly on one event coming up- the “Mary Kay” convention @ the Convention Center. It was Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for 10,000 ladies for 3 days. We spent 2 weeks operating as a food processor, sealing foods we prepared into bags and storing them in two 18 Wheel Trailers. This was all done in and just outside the World Trade Center@ Dallas.

When it came event time, the trailers and an awful lot of equipment went to the Convention Center from the World Trade Center. Included in the Equipment were about a dozen of what we called “Boiling Oceans”. They were big water baths or “Bain Maries” as we call them in the business. I don’t know how many gallons of water they held, but they were about 12’ x3’ and 2 feet deep. We used them to heat up all the food that we had been "Seal-a-Mealing” for the last 2 weeks. The heat was generated by big propane tanks, not the backyard BBQ kind, but the one’s that look like Torpedoes.

The 3 days went smoothly, and I was impressed by the company and they seemed to like me. It took 2 days of hard work to get the Conevention Center cleaned up and everything back to the World Trade Center.
On my last day there, one of the last tasks I had was to take the leftover Propane tanks and put them in cages on the 2nd floor of the World Trade Center. On the way up I checked to make sure the valves were completely closed. Outside the cage, I again checked to make sure the valves were completely shut. And after putting them in the cages ….checked again. All 40 Propane Tanks are secure. Cage is locked.

An hour later I was on my way home. It’s a beautiful February day in 1993 and I am excited about the prospect of going to work for “Culinaire International”. At some point I turn on the radio for some tunes but what I get is a “Special Report”.
It is breaking news and what I hear is this:

““There has been an explosion at the World Trade Center. I can see smoke pouring out of the 2nd Floor window and people are being evacuated. Emergency vehicles are arriving but we have no further information. Stay tuned for further information..”“

““WHOA!““I am freakin’ out.

I says to myself:
““I know none of those tanks were open. I checked them all. I double checked them all…”
“Then what caused the explosion?” the other voice in my head asks.“

Should I go back and explain that it could not be the tanks on the second floor that I had “Secured” that had caused this explosion? Sure, I’ll tell the newsguy that and the backdrop can be the smoke pouring out of the 2nd floor window.
Like I said, I’m freakin’ out.
I frantically search the radio dial all the way home. One more report confirms the explosion being at the World Trade Center and that the smoke is coming out of windows all the way up to the 5th floor now and there appear to be only a few minor injuries. Information is still sketchy as this has just occurred within the hour.
Freakin’ out.
I'm losin' it.
Pull into my driveway, run into the house to turn on the news. I am sure that not only have my chances at”Culinaire” gone up in smoke, but I am forever to be known as the guy that blew up the WTC @ Dallas.
T.V. is on.
I can stop freakin’ out.

By coincidence some fanatic had parked a Van full of fertilizer in the garage of the World Trade Center in New York City.
It was February 26, 1993 and that event that day would come to be known as the , "First World Trade Center Bombing".
That was 13 (sic) years ago and I had no idea at the time just how common* this kind of thing might become.
I had no idea I would wake up one morning to find someone had flown a plane into each of those two towers.

That’s my story.
*This was written some years ago. Fortunately the steps that have been taken to help protect us have worked well. It has not become a common occurance on our soil , but like Kissyface commented a few years ago, some folks have really made a foul use of us perceiving it that way.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CONVERSATION WITH SUSAN

“Susan, I’ve got a date with a lady Friday night!”
“Really? How did you manage that?”
“Well, she said that she might be going to the show, and I told her that if she went, I‘d meet her there, but if she didn’t go, I wouldn’t go myself.”
“You think that’s a date?”
“Yeah!”
“That is not a date!”
“Sure it is”
(laughing)
“Steve, you have a funny idea of what a date is”
(laughing)
“Yes, I know. You got to understand….if I am in line at the grocery store, and the lady behind me happens to glance at me…well…that’s a date. (laughing) And if she actually makes eye-contact and smiles, man, that’s a great date.”
“You are really sick aren’t you”
“Yeah, all us men are. If a girl happens to smile at us, all we can think is “Uh-oh, she wants me”. That’s just how we think. Surely you knew that.”
(hesitating)”No, I’m afraid I didn’t”
(Cheerily) “So the thing about my date Friday night…the way I see it…and you have to listen close…
I think maybe that she thinks maybe that I think maybe it’s a date so….Its a date!”
(long pause)
“When is the last time you had a date, Steve?”
"I had a date New Years Eve”
"Really? What year Steve?"
(long pause)
"Oh, I don't know, like 1999 maybe?"

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

My previous post was a re-post from a 4 part story I told last year. I have since added two more parts to the story, with this being the Final (?) Chapter...

"‘Ol Bulletholes cannot speak for any of the characters, unreal imagined or conglomerated into his story about fightin’ Joe. He can however, speak for himself.
Bulletholes resides in Bedford, not far from the old Boys Ranch for Orphans.
He works a job as a Shipping and Receiving Clerk.
Bulletholes is a very grateful Recovering Addict with 419 days of clean time.
He spends his time spreading the message to the still suffering addict:"
ANYONE CAN STOP DOING DRUGS, LOSE THE DESIRE TO USE AND FIND A NEW WAY TO LIVE”

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A VIEW FROM THE SMOKING AREA

"The Continuing chronicles of Fightin' Joe" Part III



“Howdy do there!

You bet I got somethin for the head!
Come on, come stand over here, it’s the best spot on Campus. Want a hit? Yeah, its Wahokkan and it is good. See, from here you can see down the side of the building both ways and if Potter or Coach Dibble show up, we got a runnin start to the Parking Lot. They'll never know what hit 'em. Lobo is out there with all her girls. See that “72 Civic, the Purple one with the smoke comin’ out the rear window? Theres more girlie-girls packed into there right now than a Future Teachers of America Convention. Sometimes they let you party with em, but you gotta wait for the invite. Won't take long, man.
When the wind is just right, comin out of the lot, you can get high just standin here, and seein’ as how jus’ ‘bout every other car is packed with Freaks all tuned in to KZEW its like were getting’ “Smoke on the Water”… in Quadraphonic too. Pretty cool
From here we can see everything. We got a better view of the Parking Lot and the Drivers Ed course over there than Mr. Purcell up there in the tower. They put that in last year, looks like something out of a Yogi Bear vs. The Park Ranger episode. Purcell thinks from up there with his Binoculars he’ll be able to see whats goin’ on inside the vehicles while everybody’s practicing driving.
Say again? Yeah, it looks like something a Boy Scout Troop made. He climbs three flights of ladders every day to get up there.
No, you’re right, they didn’t spend much money on it and it don’t look real safe.

Uh oh, there goes Fightin Joe. Looks like he's on a mission. Looks like they are headed to Drivers Ed. He’s got Tiny Fontanadana with him too. They’re probably lookin’ for someone for Tiny to beat up while Fightin’ Joe holds ‘em. Tiny is little, but he’s a coward and that makes him dangerous, especially since he’s Joe’s only friend besides Betsye.

But don’t look now cause here comes Cross-eyed Myra in that Rabbit Jacket of hers. 88 degree's in the shade, Myra has gotta wear that jacket. Her mommas REAL French, barely even speaks English, but Myra is from Brooklyn. She likes to think she's French though.
Listen! Hear that squeaky sound?
Its that Patent Leather Ultra Miniskirt she wears. Man she’s really truckin’ ain’t she? Check it out, she’s gonna want a light for her cigarette…she’ll let it dangle until she decides to make Gentlemen out of us, and ask us if we ain't gonna light her cigarette.

Hey Myra whats happenin'?!
No, ma’am, I do not know what Joe and Tiny are up to besides no good. Lookin for who? What do they want with Buck? He did what? You don’t mean it! He and Betsye? But she’s his Half-Step Sister. Yeah, I guess that don't plug no holes. Aren’t I gonna what? Oh sure, here you go…man I need a cig too after hearin’ that shit.
Buck and Betsye! My my!
Ok, catch ya later!

Man! Buck has been makin' out his own step sister, Betsye, which just happens to be the most notoriously bad-assed’ dude in the world's girlfriend. Fightin’Joe must be wiggin’ out. Someone's gonna get hurt, I guarantee you me.
Buck better keep his ass well hid.
Whats that? Me and Cross-Eyed Myra?? No, not me…everyone thinks I am but the fact of the matter is I’m the only one thats not.
Yeah, it gets pretty intense around here for sure. Whats your name? Good to know ya, Stan-man…
They call me Bulletholes. See ya ‘round”

Friday, August 28, 2009

I AM IRONMAN!

I am sitting here wearing to my new cologne from Avon and listening to an old Black Sabbath album from 1970. Its the first of the Heavy Metal Fragrances and forever changed the smell of Rock and Roll.
From the Avon catalog::
“A victorious fusion of energizing Mercury, Lead, Plutonium 239 and exotic Isomers spiked with real Slag. Comes in 2.5 fl. oz. The essence of mind-body excellence. Ironman is the ultimate triathlon race involving three endurance events: a 2.4 mile swim in heavy boots of lead, a 112 mile bike ride through a Magnetic Field and a 26.2 mile run in order to take vengeance by filling you full of dread”

I can’t wait for them to come out with “Paranoid”


Has he lost his mind?, Can he see or is he blind
Can he walk at all? Or if he moves will he fall?
Is he live or dead? I see thoughts within his head.
We'll just pass him there. Why should we even care?

He was turned to steel in the great magnetic field!
When he traveled time for the future of Mankind.
Nobody wants him He just stares at the world.
Planning his vengeance that he will soon unfurl.
Now the time is here for ironman to spread fear.
Vengeance from the grave kills the people he once saved
Nobody wants him they just turn their heads.

Nobody helps him now he has his revenge.

Heavy boots of lead fills his victims full of dread.
running as fast as they can Ironman lives again.
from the album paranoid, balck sabbath, 1970

Thursday, August 27, 2009

GOOD CHOICE PAMMY

ME AND PAMMY, PIC TAKEN LAST WEEK

" I don't want to go from being "some man's daughter" to "some man's wife"

pammy, june of 1976, on why we should cancel the wedding planned for two weeks after she graduated high school

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BREAKFAST WITH TRESSA


I used to throw these big parties out at the lake. We would have a keg, and there would be folks with guitars, and we would make a big bonfire in the woods and hope that the Texas Rangers didn’t show up. Not the baseball team, but the State Troopers from the Department of Public Safety, the ones that carried big iron six-shooters on their hips.
The first lake party I threw there were only about 12 of us and we called it a "Camp out".
The Tradition grew, and our numbers increased.
We would meet at Bell High School and form up a fifty car caravan out Whites Chapel Road to “The Pit”.
"The Pit" was an earthen geological formation that was shaped like a Greek Amphitheater in the middle of the woods by the lake. It was there that we built our bonfire, smoked our funny stuff and sang ‘Sweet Home Alabama” all night long. I imagined myself a promoter of sorts, somewhere between the likes of a Willie Nelson roadie, Don Kirschner and Bob Geldoff.
I imagined that one day we could get a big name act like Kris Kristofferson or Bob Dylan or REO Speedwagon to come to our Camp-out.
Until then, we would have to settle for a semi-circle of cars, doors and trunks open and stereos on all tuned to KZEW.

I woke up one morning next to the remnants of the fire at “The Pit”. I could hear the music coming from the few cars still left, the aftermath of the party...
'I'lll never dance with another,
oooohhh
When I saw her standin' there"


I rubbed my eyes and found I had been covered in beer cans by my good friend and lover, Tressa.
Tressa was laughing and doing a seductive little dance for me, saying
“Steve, you are SOOO trashed”.
Ah, Tressa, she was so much fun. She helped me drag my tired butt to the car and we went home for breakfast.

To be continued

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GAME DAY

On game day at Bedford Jr. High the Athletes would all wear ties, and the girls would collect their Tie-Tacks throughout the day, and pin or clip them to the lapels of their Cheerleader uniform.
Every time I see a Tie-tack I think about Game Day and Patty Cakepan.
She was not necessarily the best looking girl at school, but she was the most aggressive tie-tack collector on campus. Every week she collected the most tie-tacks. Her lapel was always covered in silver and gold, bejeweled with diamond and onyx and rhinestones from the boys, many on loan from their Dad's Jewelry Boxes.
I would see her in the Open-Air Atrium, palling around and flirting with half a dozen guys, all laughing and every now and then she would put her arm around one or two of them and give a big friendly hug.

For a nerdy thick-lensed fellow like myself, this seemed to insinuate that if I could get her to want my Tie-Tack, then maybe Patty Cakepan might want me as well.
You know, want me like a lover or something.
I even went so far as to imagine that the quality of the tie-tack might be directly proportionate to this end, and a cause for my desired effect.

With this in mind, I frowned and put my only tie-clip back into my drawer.
It was the last Game Day of the year, and a full moon too, and in my mind it was time to make a move for Patty Cakepan. I went into Dads room, opened his jewel case and found a winner.

Getting Patty Cakepan to take my Dads Tie-tack was easy.
Getting it back was not.
I think maybe she still has my Dad's Tigers-Eye 24 karat Arabian Gold inlaid with Diamond Deluxe Tie Clip from De-beers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"NEVER BEEN BETTER"

Birthday Night is a celebration every month for those Narcotics Anonymous members who have stayed clean and sober for a continuous year. There was a guy Friday night that celebrated his 19th birthday.
When its your Birthday, you get to pick up a gold coin.
Someone will introduce you from the podium, usually your sponsor.
Then you go up to the podium and address the group. You can talk about how you stayed clean and sober, or what the program has done for you, or what your struggles may have been and how you got thru them..

Last Friday was my first Birthday Night, having had my first year sober.
One of my good buddies gave me a custom made T-Shirt that reads “Never Been Better” before the meeting. I have been running around the last month telling anyone who will listen that I have never been better.
Then the meeting started….and guess who got to go first?

I’m not sure why I got to go first, but I did.
My sponsor went up to the Podium and said
“When this guy came to me 6 months ago and asked me to be his sponsor I wasn’t too sure what to say. But he has stuck around, and done some stepwork and now he is a part of this group now. And if you haven’t met him, well, you are about to now, and you have to realize that he is really loud, and he laughs so hard, and he has this big heart and he has on this shirt and he will probably tell you all about it.
So come on up here Steve!”

And I went running to the podium like some kind of Heavyweight Champion of the World, hands waving and arms flying, kicked my right leg out as I took a left and went sliding up to the podium.

Quite animated, I said:
“Man , I am so excited to be here, I’m more excited than the first time I rode the Texas Twister at Six Flags, and if you aren’t excited as I am about Narcotics Anonymous like me then you just do like I did and keep coming back.
I got support groups everywhere:
I have ‘em in my Blog world, and I can’t tell you how much support I have gotten from people I have never even met, and likely never will.
And I know every cashier, busboy, buffet attendant in town, and they all know my story and when I go to Blockbuster Video and the girl behind the counter says “How you doin’, Bulletholes?” I do a little dance and say “I’ve never been better Baby, how’ bout you” and everybody in the store can hear me and knows I’m there.
And I got a couple kids….do you think they are excited their daddy don’t do any dope?
And I got an X Wife and a sister and friends and family that have finally seen me stop using drugs….Do you think they are excited?
But what I really have that’s done it for me is all you people here at NA…like the literature says, “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel”
I get to come here and hear the things I need to hear from other addicts…
And I get to come here and meet people that I need to meet…
And sometimes I get to come here and say some things I need to hear myself say…

And I am just totally psyched on the idea that I did something I did not know I would want to do, that I COULD do, and thats stay off drugs for a whole year...
So somebody ask me…”How you doin’ Steve?”


And someone in the crowd of 150 people hollered out “How you doin’ Steve?”

And I stood away from the podium so everyone could see my shirt, I even pointed to it and shouted at the top of my lungs
“NEVER BEEN BETTER!”

And the crowd went wild!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

TRAILS

Sometimes we get on a trail that seems to have no end, and we feel lost, and at some point we have to turn back. Its hard to say what point that is, but turn back we do.
Sometimes we get on a trail and we see all the signs we are on the right trail; life gets real easy for a time.
Sometimes we come to places that we have to choose between two trails, and some of those times we pick, and never get know that on the trail we did not pick there is a sign that says
"No longer an option".

Part of Learning to Hope may be finding there are few trails thusly marked.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Shrimp

This may be my finest and longest-lasting contribution to the Culinary Arts.
(click here)

Monday, July 27, 2009

SPLITTING THE ATOM

In the fall of my 8th Grade year, they came and took away our Yo-Yo’s.
Over the period of a few weeks, the Yo-Yo craze had spread like a wildfire through the open air atrium at Bedford Jr. High.
By the coke machine Robert Everly and John Mcintire stood, “Shooting the Moon and “Walkin the Dog”.
In the Cafeteria, Suzi and Tracy watched in wide eyed amazement…Julie was a natural and was giving a clinic on how to “Rock the Baby” go “Around the World “ and even the near impossible ‘Two-handed Loops”.
But in the Resource Center…

Ah yes, the fabulous Resource Center, that’s what we called it, it wasn’t a library any more, it was a Resource Center. You could view some kind of Microfiche or something on a personal projector and listen to tapes about Indentured Servants and the Louisiana Purchase and stuff. I actually stole a set of headphones from there to listen to my Black Sabbath with, but mom found them and made me take them back to Mrs McNeese the Librariian, so I started taking Sabbath to the Resource Center, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Right now I am supposed to be telling you about Yo-Yo’s.

Over in the Resource Center, Gary was demonstrating his version of ‘Split the Atom” which was to douse his Wooden Duncan Spin-master with a little lighter fluid and set it afire just before performing his trick. Gary was working on another trick at home with a Yo-Yo filled with a little black powder that would go off just as he finished the last move of a ‘Double Gerbil”, that’s how Gary rolled, but I seriously doubted that trick would ever take off.

But if anybody could pull something like that off, it would be Gary. His Dad was a Gunsmith and Gary was a Champion Muzzle-loader marksman since befor he could walk. There were kegs of black powder all over Gary's house.

Anyway, after dousing his Duncan with lighter fluid, setting it afire, he went into part one of “Splitting the Atom”. But it was then something went terribly wrong.
Not only did his string break just as he spun the Spinmaster over his head, causing the flaming Yo-Yo to jet straight towards Mrs. Mcneese’s very blue-grey hair, but everybody in the Resourse Center was about to find out that Gary was using the wrong Yo-Yo.
Unknowingly, Gary had brought the one filled with black powder from home!
The only thing that saved McNeese from a face full of flaming Yo-Yo that day was the fact that it exploded into tiny splinters 3 feet in front of her face.
No one was more surprised than Gary himself.
Gary “Split the Atom” alright, and the next day the Principle and entire coaching staff confiscated every Yo-Yo on Campus and forever banned them from the hallowed Open Air Atriums of Bedford Jr. High.

But, you know kids are resilient. They make the best of things. It didn’t take long before we found a replacement for the dangerous Yo-Yo’s.
What was it, you may ask?
Before too long the school was filled with the tap-tap-tapping machine gun like sound of a brand new toy.
Clackers! (click here)

FOR A LISTING OF GREAT YO-YO TRICKS AND VIDEO DEMONSTRATIONS GO HEREhttp://www.yomega.com/tricks/



Gary, receiving his "Order of the Eagle Feather" Award for a perfect score at competition, 1971.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

WHEN CAN YOU START?

I have no doubt that if we had not become so inefficient here at work, I would be long gone.
In fact, if we get any more inefficient, I'll need an assistant.

RAGERS CREED

I found something a while back that has really helped me at work.
I susbstitute 'workmates" for 'family members".

THE RAGERS CREED from "ANGER BUSTING 101"
1. I will practice self-restraint as a *top* priority today.
2. I will act *the opposite* of how I feel, when angry.
3. If I feel that my anger is about to erupt, I will *quietly* leave the situation.
4. I will find truth in *all* criticisms directed toward me today, especially from my partner..
5. I will say, "You are right," in a sincere, meaningful way, when I am criticized. (Notice that it does not say, "I will say, 'You are right, but...'")
6. I will give an example of how the person who criticized me is *right*.
7. I will repeat the following sentence to myself today: "I am better off being *wrong* because when I am right, I am dangerous."
8. I will avoid explaining myself in any way by saying, "I have no idea why I did that...it doesn't make any sense to me either."
9. I will listen sympathetically to my partner when she tells me about her day.

10. I will not give unsolicited advice to my wife or children.
11. I will avoid blaming family members for anything today, especially if it was their fault.
12. I will avoid trying to make any family member "understand" anything.
13. I will avoid trying to convince my child or spouse that I am being fair.
14. I will look for an opportunity to sincerely praise everyone I live with, especially the cat I don't like.
15. I will humbly commit myself to removing my angry behaviors today, as my contribution toward a more peaceful world.

Monday, July 20, 2009

THE BLACK CARD

My sister has started a Blog, (click here) and she left a comment on my post from last week.
I don't know where she may take her blog, but she has started by commenting on my Journey, which she has felt deeply and been a part of.
Here is her comment, and I hope soon she has a post up...


She says:
"There is an enormity to this day.
Bullethole’s story from the prospective of his Sister:

I am bummed that I have to submit this in part’s because you can’t understand one part without the others. I skip around (I have ADHD). I couldn’t decide the order in which to tell our story. I think that I am starting with the worst part. I hope that as I go, I can explain how it got this bad. Then I want to talk about now, which is really the best part. Everyone else I have lost has stayed lost. This time though my brother who was lost to me has been refound.

I can tell by the wonderful responses that have been made to my brother’s blog that many of you care for him deeply. I thought that some of you may want to know more about this man, this wordsmith who literally IS Lazarus. To me, he has risen from the dead. As siblings our stories are intertwined. For many years I felt that there was little emotional connection between the two of us. In alcoholic families (yes, our parent’s were very high functioning alcoholics) siblings either grow very close to each other because they need to support each other. Or, they grow distant as one sibling wants to talk about it (me) and one sibling doesn’t (him). Kids from addictive families also get assigned roles. Who gets what role is the luck of the draw. There is the hero, the saint, the comedian, the scapegoat, the lost child. For those of you not familiar http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/alcohol-abuse/toxic-brew explains some of this.

What made our situation a little more insidious is that our parents where unbelievably attractive and gracious people. There wasn’t anybody lying around on the couch with a bottle of liquor in a brown bag. My father was a highly successful and admired man. He was a good friend of John Connelly (yes, the Governor of Texas who was riding in the car with JFK when he was assassinated. I have a great story of when I met the Governor’s sister who figured out that I was the daughter of bullet holes senior and her great admiration for him, but that if for another time.) In his prime, he was hand picked to run for the head of the Texas Railroad Commission. Bullet holes senior told me about, and I have some memories of frequent breakfasts at the Governors’ mansion in Austin. We came through the kitchen door.

So, I didn’t understand until almost 6 or 7 years after they died that there was a drinking problem. I learned about this from my mother’s best friend before she died. It was further verified by Dave Mow’s Grass’s mother, my sister in law. My mother was the primary alcoholic. Her friend Jean, wife of the infamous Bruce we all have come to love and laugh at had no idea that I didn’t know when I finally asked her about it. After I came to understand alcoholism I could recall incidents that spoke to our father’s romance with it as well.

Bullet holes drew the black card, the addict. I spent a lot of years being angry with him about it. A couple of years ago, I realized that I owed him. It could have been me. Oh, God. It could have been me.

It seemed that the endless string of losses sent my brother further into his addictions and me into mine. The fiend of a drug that would eventually suck my brother under and almost take him away forever.

Friday, July 17, 2009

ONE YEAR

One year tomorrow, not so much as a glass of O'Douls psuedo-beer, nor a Wine Sauce with my Pasta, or a Benedryl or Vicks inhaler. No Opiates, Amphetamines, or Barbituates.
No Mexican Fireweed, White Robots, Pink Witches or Strawberry Fields.
If you had told me I would do so a year ago, to stay clean and sober, I would have asked you "What for?".
I'd have told you that I would have to use, eventually and soon, if for no other reason than to settle my ass down a little, make myself a little more quietly bearable.
And to get that sinkfull of dishes done.

I have since found lots of reasons "what for".
I have gotten used to my loud-ass, over-the-top, in-the-center-ring-spotlight self.
I can look my kids, my friends and my past in the eye and spit.

Fuck the dirty dishes, let 'em pile up to Kingdom Come...I ain't usin' no matter what.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I'M NOT BACK

BUT I SHOULD EXPLAIN
Still clean, you bet. 355 Days!

But here is why I am on a long break...Blogging was starting to have a rather obnoxious affect on me. I found myself doing two fairly detestable things...
1) Practicing a yet to be written post on an unsuspecting public (in line at the grocery store, or such)
2) Trying to recite an already written post to someone in lieu of an impromptu story, and pretending like I was making it up as I went along.
Its really hard for me not to do those things, its happened before, and I come off as being quite scripted, especially if I start telling the same "impromptu" story to the same person twice.

After I have written a story down, maybe even one that I have been telling for years, it seems to affect the way I tell it and usually to the detriment of the story.
And as much as I like writing these stories down, I like telling them more, face to face.

But I’ll probably be back to it after a bit, after I recover from this affectation and forget some of what I've written.…

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'M DONE

345 days clean and sober.
330 posts in 345 days.
I'd hoped to hit 365 in 365 with 365 days clean, but I think I'm done.
I might could do 35 posts in the next 20 days, but they would be real crap.
So I just might be done.
Thats what they say down at NA when you are at the end of the road.




LOST IN THE BACKYARD
I said "this is the last time"
A few times ago
But once more it's happened
And that's all in the world I know
I still hear the echo
When you hung up the phone
I feel like I'm lost in the back yard
Just trying to get home.

I woke up in a strange world
I can aptly describe
It's like the streets of a town where I lived
When I was too young to drive
It all looks so Familiar
But I can't find my way
I must have got lost in the back yard
When I went out to play

Don't open my eyes
To nothing like truth
Just leave it all lost in the wind
Let it hide in the blindness of youth
The facts of the matter
Most likely will always remain
And I guess I'll be lost in the back yard
Till I get home again

j. mcmurtry

Friday, June 26, 2009

DON'T STOP TILL YOU GET ENOUGH

"I was a veteran before I was a teenager."


This guy was such a talent. What happened?

ANGEL ON SKATEBOARD

"I became famous almost before I had a craft"

She was sweet...maybe one of the least affected Pop stars ever.
Very sad.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

UN-COOL


I went to my very first Rock Concert in 1972.
The band was Foghat.
They had a huge hit with an old Willie Dixon song "I Just Wanna Make Love To You".
The auditorium was filled with smoke and our seats were way up in the rafters, Row ZZ, in the Crows nest.
I was getting very stoned.
There was all that smoke, and all those lights at the stage, and the Foghat dudes were all wearing Rock Star clothes and I wanted to be a rock star too. I didn't have any Rock Star clothes. Mom wouldn't let me. I'd had to do some real manipulating just to be here, because no way would mom and dad let me go anywhere near a Rock concert.

Foghat started to play their big hit "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" and the Bass line was pounding away:
"Buh-boom-boom-boom-boomboom -buh-buh"
and the lead guitar started in with the
'Wah-wah-wawawawa-wah-wah-wuh-wuh"
And then the singer sings

"I just Wanna Make... Love to You"

In my youthful exuberence I was completely overcome.
I stood up and started to rock out.
But then the room began to spin, and I to wobble, and the vertigo kicked in.
Whoa!
The next thing I knew, I was falling into the lap of the cool looking dude in Rock Star clothes sitting in front of me, who looked down into my face and said:
"Very un-cool, dude"

There is no humility that compares to being told you are "un-cool" by a really cool looking dude. Never, ever, stand up if you are in Row ZZ.
Ever.

BIG BAMBU


When I was 16, I went to see Deep Purple
“Smoke on the Water” was a huge hit at the time.
It was my first concert.
In my excitement and youthful exuberance, I had rolled an entire ounce of pot into a single joint using a newspaper.
The house lights began to dim. my understanding was that this was a signal to light up. We had brought one of those giant lighters to light it, haha.
But when I lit it, smoke plumed into the air like there was a California brush fire in the stands, and the cherry at the end glowed the size of a half dollar.
I passed it down to Buckman, and when he tried to hit it, it started to catch fire.
I was starting to get kind of paranoid, all that smoke, and now it was looking like a Roman candle, hissing and popping and belching flames and all, and I began to realize that as great as a 1 ounce joint sounds, its probably pretty un-cool. We had become a spectacle.
Buckman passed it back to me, and I dropped it to the floor and tried to stamp it out.
The smoke coming off it was so thick I could not see the stage, or even breathe!
It took quite a bit of stamping to finally kill it.

The cool looking hippy guy sitting beside me looked at me and just said
“Good choice, Dude”

Never tried that again.

SOUTHERN COMFORT

When I was 17, I went to see 'YES" at a concert.
I knew the girl that sat in front of me from school.
She was drunk on Southern Comfort.
She kept standing up and taking her shirt off.
I always liked Southern Comfort after that.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

KING SOLOMON ON ADDICTION

Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has strife?
Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?

Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.
Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.

In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.

“They struck me,” you will say,“but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink.”


proverbs 23

STORIES

"Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever."
- Old Indian Proverb

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FATHERS DAY

I know, I know, I'm a little late.

My Dad was typical of a lot of men of his era.
He was a truly good man, quiet, frugal and conservative.
He attended Church every Sunday, but I never heard him sing.
I know he prayed every day, but I never heard him pray.
I know he loved me, but it wasn't a hugs and kisses kind of love.
He never said "I love you." He taught me to fish, and light a fire with one match, and tried to pass on the principles he lived his whole life by.
He showed me how to make Pancakes.
He fought in WWII in North Africa and Italy under General Patton.

There was a cigar that seemed to be a permanent fixture in Dad's mouth which he used to great effect as he talked to you. Dad could recite the Gettysburg Address in perfect diction with that cigar tucked into the corner of his mouth. He could move that cigar from one side of his mouth to the other and you never saw his lips move. It was as though it rode on ball-bearings.
Surreal.
Whenever Dad wanted to put some puctuation to any remark he might be making, the cigar would come out of his mouth and he would study the cigar, and the ribbons of smoke that came off of it.
When I turned 16 and got a car, I met a girl at a Junior Acheivement Dance. She was not my first girlfriend but she was the first with me having a Drivers License and a car. A whole new world was opened up. Her name was Jeri, and man, this girl could dance!
She was also very pretty, with blonde hair down to the small of her back, Ice-blue eyes and pouty lips that shone with Ice-Cream lipstick.. I am sure that it was her good looks that prompted my Dad into one of our little conversations.
After coming in from a date with Jeri, Dad sat me down.
"Thats a real nice lookin' girl you are seein' there son"
"Thanks Dad"
"You know, son, one of these days that little girl is gonna get the hot pants for you"!
"Undoubtedly, Father"
The cigar comes out and we both study it for a long moment as he blows a slow steady stream of smoke...
"Well when that happens I want for you to take her on to her house and you just come on home too."
"Sure Pop"

It was the equivalent of giving a girl a coin to put between her knees for birth control.

It was good and well intentioned advice, but there were other signs that Dad was losin' it.
His signature was getting sloppy and his writing wandered off the line.
When we worked on the car, he had trouble getting the screwdriver into the slot.
When he pulled up to a stop sign, sometimes he stopped 20 feet in front of it.
I thought jokingly that he must be getting senile.

Two years later in 1975, I heard a Medical term I had never heard before.
Alzheimers.
Dad had the "Early Onset" form of it and it left him completely disabled at the age of 58 years old.
Dad always told me what the right thing to do would be.


Dave Mows Grass, my nephew and I have started being sure to talk to each other every week. Some weeks we talk on thwe phone for an hour, other weeks only a little while.
The thing is, Davy lost his Dad too, and there are so many things we wish we might have talked to our dads about.
So, for you who still have fathers, even quiet and secret men like my father was, you go and talk to them, talk to them a lot because some day you will not be able to talk to them at all.
Its not too late.

Monday, June 22, 2009

35 YEAR FRIENDS REUNION

"whispering sweet nothings to julie, 1975"

Julie:
We all had a lot of fun Saturday night!

We have you to thank for it all, and so wished that you might have been there.
Everybody showed up except for Michele, and heck, she might have been there we just couldn’t find each other.
Tracy didn’t get there till late, and we all went to Lisa’s after for about an hour.

I had a lot of fun being the doorman. Brad got a table, it was way in the back, and I hung out in the front waiting for everybody so I could guide them past the line that stretched around the block, and lead them to the table. When it was just Michele and Tracy we were waiting for, I had even more fun asking every good lookin’ woman that passed my way, with a mighty look of expectation on my face, and in my Best Barry White voice:
“Are you Michele?”
And when they smiled politely and shook their head no I’d say
‘Well, how bout Tracy?”
And they would look at me like I was deranged and start walking a little quicker.

So, we had fun Julie, and if you and Michele had been there I think we would have all been completely out of control!

Your friend, Steve



Now for all my Blog friends, the reason Julie could not make it because her mother is having some surgery done today.

Ya'll please say a little prayer for her Mother, and my good friend Julie.