Thats the number of Swine Flu cases that has prompted the local School District (here) to shut down for the next 10 days. (cough)
80, 000 kids on the loose.
Stay away from the Mall!
I'm not sure how I feel about this.
If nothing comes of this outbreak, then they look like they over-reacted big-time.
On the other hand (cough) if people start contracting this thing all over the country, and we have a few hundtred deaths in the near future, it probably won't have been enough, or done much good.
I guess what it means is that you can't win and we are all gonna die. (cough, cough)
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Posted by bulletholes at 10:17 AM
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Every Little Bit Counts
My thoughts were gnawing at me so I tried hard not to think
I took a pint of whiskey and poured it down the sink
I'd get my act together, I swore it to myself
I looked up at your picture and I knocked it off the shelf
Every little bit counts
Every little bit counts
I tried and I tried and I tried to be so good
Wanted to be so good so bad
I tried and I tried and I tried every trick I could
'til I'd emptied out the whole damn bag
but it was too little too late
I'm no longer choking on the hair of the dog
It's been a couple of weeks now since I came out of the fog
The highs are slightly higher
And the lows are just as low
A mild improvement on the average even so
Every little bit counts
Though it may not count for much
They could be long forgotten
By the time you add 'em up
Every little bit counts
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Here's an article about a 6 lb. dog that rode a 70 MPH gust of wind 2 miles and is described as being "dirty, hungry, but otherwise OK". (not the dogs words)
Not lucky, blessed, traumatized, slightly damaged, windblown, disheveled, possessed, mad, loco, totally freaked, a long way from home or "no worse for the wear", but just OK.
Okay, as in fine, copacetic, hunky-dory, allright, cool, good-to-go, and "Fair-to-Middlin'.
Doggie just wants a bath and a meal.
It's the best you'll do on and average day.
Thoughts, continued from "knock-knees"
“Why the fuck is it so hard to be Okay?”
I wonder this sometimes, like when the laundry is piled up and I am tempted to wear yesterdays socks…OK….whenever I find myself wearing yesterdays socks.
Or when I start the dishwasher and even though its full, there is still another half load of dishes in the sink.
I live by myself...do you know how many days you have to avoid doing dishes to create that scenario?
Or when I can’t find my shoes and look all over the place and finally find the lost one behind the couch.
Who kicks a shoe off to have it land behind the couch?
Or when I look for my keys in all the usual places only to discover that…there are no “Usual “ places. They could be anywhere.
Or when I wake up in the morning and there is nothing for breakfast, even though there is money for groceries, and I have to stop somewhere on my bicycle, which I didn't want to ride, but I have no car and no choice, and wind up eating a $7 breakfast when a bowl of cereal would have sufficed.
And these are just little things…
I’ve spent most of the last 15 years using a couch as a bed. This is a bigger thing thqn you might imagine, you who have slept in a bed for most of your sleeping life. Last year, about the time I had begun to sleep in my bed, I gave it away.
I think part of the reason I gave it away is a fear of doing things that make me seem OK.
Sleeping on a couch full time is not OK. So, in the interest of being OK, I bought a new bed 6 weeks ago. I noticed right away that having bought that bed, suddenly laundry was getting done more regular, that I was doing half loads of dishes, and that my keys, even though I still couldn’t find them, my keys were on the Key Hook!
What a concept…
But you know what?
Its hard to stay OK for long, and over the period of a few weeks, my laundry is starting to suffer, and last night I did a load of dishes, but a load didn’t get them all, and right now I am wearing yesterdays socks and can’t find my keys anywhere.
But that’s OK man.
I was OK for a while and even if I’m not OK right now…..
I’m still a bed ahead!
I have spent 3 of the last 4 years without a car. I'm not sure how I've done it but I have, and while it helped to make me OK for a while, it is now a part of me being "Not OK"
But Thursday, I am buying a truck.
And I''ll bet that truck will be like that bed, and I'll be a little more OK for a while because of it, but then at some point I will be less OK in spite of it, but thats OK....
I'll still be a Truck ahead!
I'll be a bed and a Truck ahead!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
All Tommy wanted was to make it to a meeting
Just get the hell out of Applebee’s and go to a God-Damned meeting. Sure, he had 4 years clean time, and was on his second tour of the Fourth Step, but right now he wasn’t feeling any too strong. Yeah, a little female companionship would be nice. Someone to share the 13 Spiritual Principles* in his newfound drug-free life with. After 6 years in the program with only one relapse, it was safe, and probably about time for him to come out of his self imposed shell and try to live like a normal human being.
"Way overdue" he thought to himself.
How hard could it be?
Never mind that his only jacket had “Clean and Sober” logo and his clean date advertised on his ragged back, and his nickname of “Knock-Knees” on the front next to his Sergeant at Arms patch. His leathers were adorned with brass letters spelling out the words
'Third Tradition"** and "We do Recover"***.
His only transportation was a fairly worn out Harley Softail.
His only shoes were boots. Motorcycle boots.
Everything Tommy owned was black or had a skull on it.
He lived to ride, mostly, except at work, where he processed Microchips for a Major Telecom Distributor.
Even with all the Death Insignia and Jailhouse Tattoos, he deserved a shot at being normal, even if the only thing regular about him was his haircut.
Every morning he woke up and said his Third Step Prayer:
"God, take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live clean"
And he might be normal one day, right after he finished killing his sponsor.
His sponsor who had suggested he join that Singles Club which had planted him in this damn booth at Applebees, drinking coffee and eating Pecan Pie with one of the nicest plainest most flat-chested women he had ever met.
Tommy had done some pretty terrible things in his day, things that he had just recently learned to accept, but right now he could not recall doing anything more twisted than what he was doing right now, which happened to be trying to have a nice conversation with a normal woman.
A normal woman, wearing a Robins Egg Blue Gingham dress who had never done any dope at all. Ever.
It was excruciating.
Why the fuck is it so hard so hard to just be Okay.
All Tommy wanted was to make a meeting.
to be continued
*hope, surrender, acceptance, honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, faith, tolerance, patience, humility, unconditional love, sharing and caring.
from the basic text, Step 12
**"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using"
from The 12 Traditions of NA
***When at the end of the road we find that we can no longer function as a Human Being either with or without drugs we all face the same dillemna-what is there left to do?...
...Those who are addicted today are more fortunate. for the first time in mans entire history a simple way has been proving itself in the lives of many addicts. It is available to us all. This is a simple Spiritual-not Religious - program, known as Narcotics Anonymous
from the group readings, NA literature
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
From the Astronomy Picture of the Day...
All that you touch
Posted by bulletholes at 8:47 AM
My son, the Rip, tells me last week that if he could grow just 20 or 30 Marijuana plants he could make a cool $100,000.
"Its easy Dad!" he says.
"Hmmm...yes...easy" I say. 'Its a wonder everybody's not doing it"
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Barbara had a pretty good post today about affirmative action and I try to stay away from stuff like that (all you have to do is read both my lenghty comments) but she reminded me of a post I had brewing a while back.
I was supposed to have pictures and everything, but I don't know where I put them.
They had an International Day at my son's High School last year.
It was a Fashion Show where the kids dressed in the garb of their ethnicity.
It was a Music Show where they played music from their own cultures.
There were many ethnic foods there.
Represented were lots of kids from Indian, Asian, African, Polynesian, and Middle Eastern cultures.
There were a good number of Latinos.
A few kids represented Anglo-Saxon and Germanic peoples.
Like kids do, they mixed and matched and got along so well, checking out the different threads, and dancing to the multicultural music.
33 years ago I graduated from that very same High School.
We did not need an International Day.
We had maybe a handful of Latino kids and one black dude named Stan that was one of my buddies.
There was no International Day.
There was very little diversity.
Hell, the most exotic name in the whole school was "Gonzales" and he didn't even look Mexican.
He looked like a 'Smith"!
So as I looked at the 300 or so kids that participated in International Day, I couldn't help but think to myself
NOW THIS IS AMERICA!
Posted by bulletholes at 2:08 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
"the almighty has his own purposes"
a. lincoln, from his second inaugural address
They say ol' Moses didn’t get to go to the Promised Land. Whatever the reason for that I can’t imagine.
Dr. Martin Luther King gave his last sermon on April 2nd 1968. I say sermon, because Dr. king was a preacher. His part in the Civil Rights Movement is undeniable, but first and foremost he was a preacher.
He says in this sermon that “longevity has its place” but that he wouldn’t be concerned about that, because he had “Been to the Mountaintop” and he had "seen the Promised Land", and that he feared no man.
Prophetically, he states that he may not get to the Promised Land, but that we would get there as a people.
I see a real weariness and sadness in his face as he gives this last sermon.
The next day he was assassinated on a balcony at a Memphis Hotel.
There are some quite stunning coincidences and parallels in American History.
It was the 41st Anniversary of Kings death on April 3 last week and today is the 144th Anniversary of Abraham Lincolns death.
These two Americans are so incredibly and intricately connected it almost hurts.
Lincoln had spent 4 years in the midst of a great Civil War, where Americans made war on each other and killed each other in great numbers. (620,000)
Congress passed the Act of 1862 establishing an Income Tax in order to finance the War and preserve the Union
With the collapse of the south imminent, Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural Address on March 4th 1865 and closed with these famous words:
"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
Lee surrendered his great Army of Northern Virginia on April 9th, 1865.
Lincoln had saved the Union, and freed the country of the scourge of slavery.
He described the previous four years by saying he felt he had "lived a long hard nightmare".
For five days he enjoyed his country at peace before John Wilkes Booth murdered him at Fords Theater.
In his billfold at the time of his death there were 6 newspaper clippings and a Confederate Five Dollar bill.
It seems to me that just like Moses and Dr. King, he never made it to the Promised land, and that sometimes we are only allowed to do so much.
We are only allowed to do so much.
We are only allowed to do so much.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Granpa talked to a Teddy Bear that sat on the Kitchen table every morning.
He'd say "Hello bear" and then he'd sit down to eat his eggs.
One morning my kids attached dental floss to the bear and hid under the table.
Granpa came in and greeted the bear and sat down.
Then the bear moved; just a little twitch.
Granpa looked for a moment then went back to his eggs, satisfied that the bear would not move again..
As he buttered his toast the bear moved again, a little more than last time.
I was sitting on the other side of the table and he looked up to me and said 'I think that Bear just moved"
I feigned indifference and just kinda grunted "humpf" and took a sip of coffee.
Granpa studied the bear a long moment, seemed to wondering if his mind might be gone, and went back to his eggs.
As if on cue, as he was raising his fork loaded with eggs to his mouth, the bear scooted three inches towards him!
Granpa dropped his fork and bolted straight upright, his chair falls backwards and he is backing away from the table hollerin'
"That damned bear just moved"
And me and the kids just busted out laughin'! It was perfectly done!
We are lucky it didn't kill the ol' boy.
Posted by bulletholes at 8:18 AM
Friday, April 10, 2009
In 1961 I was a pariah because I found the Grand Prize Giant Easter Bunny.
In 1962 I took part in the slaughter, disposal and cover-up of the senseless murder of a little pink baby chick, as told here.
The worse was yet to come…
The year after Dan and I murdered my sisters little Easter Chick, my family moved to Detroit. In 1966 we flew to Texas for vacation at Easter time. Our return flight back to Detroit was late in the day on Easter Sunday.
My little sister, who 4 years prior had lost that poor little chick, was about to pay me back for the vile deed.
Early Easter morning she went to the little nest that our mom and dad always had us make to find what the Easter Bunny had left.
There was a huge yellow Easter Basket, about 4 feet tall, with all that fake green grass spilling out, and all those marshmallow Rabbits, and Candy Eggs, Stuffed Bunnies, with little feathered bird-toys going all around the handle, all wrapped in clear-green cellophane.
It was enormous, totally cute and bigger than she was.
It was time to atone for the murder of that Baby Chick 4 years earlier.
I had to carry that Basket through the Airport and onto the plane!
I was 10 years old, all boy and I’d rather have died a thousand deaths than to carry that pastel pink and yellow nightmare.
I was embarrassed, I was pissed, and what I found was that if I tilted that basket the wrong way music would play right out of one of those stuffed bunnies arses.
“Here comes Peter Cottontail
And when I looked to my Mother, she would just give me that look like I better not say a thing.
I could not wait for this plane to hippity-hoppity off the ground and land in Detroit.
But that would prove to be too good to be true.
Posted by bulletholes at 7:01 AM
Thursday, April 09, 2009
for many a dark hour, i've been thinking of this
that jesus christ was betrayed with a kiss
but i can't think for you
you'll have to decide
if judas iscariot had god on his side
Man., I went Sunday Morning to my old Sunday School Class to tell them I have been going to Narcotics Anonymous and how much I am getting out of it. I used to go to that class about once a month, and they like me immensely as I do them. I wanted them to know where I've been the last 5 months, and that I am the Chairperson for the 10 and 12 O'Clock meetings on Sundays.
I should have known better….
They were very concerned that it is not a “Biblical” program.
They were concerned with the idea that we seek a "god of our own true understanding" and not their “one True God".
I tried to explain that NA is a simple Spiritual, not religious program and seems to be having a great effect on me and that it may even lead me back to the Church someday. (it could happen)
Its such a wonderful juxtaposition, a dichotomy, and one that they don't quite understand.
Somehow I managed to get out of there without insulting them or starting a huge fight of some sort.
But they invited me to their Maundy Thursday Service tonight and I will probably attend.
My boss and I talked about Maundy Thursday yesterday.
My title phrase is Latin, and we take Maundy from the word "mondatum" which is the first word in a phrase Christ gave us even as Judas was betraying him;
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you"
A wonderful juxtaposition, part of a really great story whether you choose to believe it or not.
My boss is very strong in his belief that yes, Judas had God on his side.
He says we all do.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
If you read yesterdays post about Easter, you will find that it set the stage for Easter to be a tough Holiday for me. That Easter of 1961 was the first time I truly felt separated from other people.
And it was all because I found that damned Grand Prize Bunny.
I can still see the pouty little envious faces of all the kids there that day.
I can still feel the anger and resentment of all those little child hearts as I stood between the Governor and Miss Texas, holding 4 pounds of Chocolate Rabbit, getting my piocture taken.
Make no mistake about it, us humans learn to hate and resent and despise at a very early age.
We also learn to feel separated, isolated and alone.
Anyway, over the years Easter did not get much better for me.
The next year, in 1962, my little sister got a little baby chick that the Easter Bunny brought for her. It was dyed pink and I do not know what future it may have had if me and the big kid from across the street had not got a hold of it. His name was Dan, and he and I took an Axe and cut the little birds head off and buried it in the front yard. Later that evening, when the chick came up missing, I lied and said I knew nothing about the whereabouts of my sisters little pink chicky.
It was a mystery, but mystery’s never last too long in my life.
The very next day my dad found that little chick , headless and buried in the front yard.
I got a whuppin’ all right, even though it had not been my idea, nor had I held the axe, or dug the hole or placed the little chicky in its grave.
No, I had not done any of that, but I understood fully that I had been a most willing and delighted accomplice to this macabre little episode.
What I did not understand at the time was that I would never really ever get away with anything my whole life long.
Posted by bulletholes at 6:44 AM
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
We were lined up at the starting line when the man fired the starting pistol.
I took off clean, then fell and scuffed my knee in my little Easter shorts, ripping my jacket as well. I thought my chaces were slim, but I recovered and ran like a deer, scooping up candy and eggs like Deon Sanders on a loose ball.
Before long I was way out in front of everybody.
There was a line of trees in front of me.
Then I found it!
The worlds biggest Chocolate Bunny! It must have been 2 feet tall.
The Grand Prize of the Easter Egg Hunt!
It came with $20 and I got my picture made with the Governor and Miss Texas, 1961.
And all the kids hated me forever after that.
Posted by bulletholes at 12:10 PM
FOR POETRY DAY
Barbara posted this little gem two years ago. I think it has the kind of edge my counterparts down at NA just might enjoy.
Everyone Was in Love by Galway Kinnell
One day, when they were little, Maud and Fergus
appeared in the doorway naked and mirthful,
with a dozen long garter snakes draped over
each of them like brand-new clothes.
Snake tails dangled down their backs,
and snake foreparts in various lengths
fell over their fronts with heads raised and swaying,
alert as cobras. They were writhing their dry skins
upon each other, as snakes like doing
in lovemaking, with the added novelty
of caressing soft, smooth, moist human skin.
Maud and Fergus were deliciously pleased with themselves.
The snakes seemed to be tickled, too.
We were enchanted.
Everyone was in love.
Then Maud drew down off Fergus’s shoulder,
as off a tie rack, a peculiarly
lumpy snake and told me to look inside.
Inside the double-hinged jaw, a frog’s green
webbed hind feet were being drawn,
like a diver’s, very slowly as if into deepest waters.
Perhaps thinking I might be considering rescue,
Maud said, "Don’t. Frog is already elsewhere."
Posted by bulletholes at 6:35 AM
Thursday, April 02, 2009
I was getting a little worried about my dreams lately... but what a weekend I had!
This one was less about one of my reader friends and more about her dog and the effect I have on people sometimes when they meet me....and as she points out later, iit may have been more about me than anything...
Strange dream with you in it last night. I was meeting you and two of your friends somewhere, can’t recall the setting. Anyway, I saw a group of three people and as I approached I realized I didn’t have my glasses on so you guys were all blurry. I got closer and was able to rule one of the three out as not being you. He was tall, had grey hair and a white sweater and a big Hollywood scarf on. He kind of resembled George Plimpton.
The other two people had long straight hair, dishwater blondes and big glasses on. One of them was going to be you.
The one on the right seemed to be the more slender and feminine, so as I got closer in my mind I thought it was you, but my vision was still blurry.
My plan was to give you a BIG hello hug.
But when I got to within hugging distance from you, I realized the person I was about to hug was not you but a very effeminate male. The “real” you was standing next to him, and you were holding a leash with your dog Duff attached.
But it was too late!
I had already committed to hugging this man and hug him I did.
I hugged the heck outta him, pounding him on the back and loudly declaring how good it was to meet him. I had shifted entirely into my "Never met a stranger" mode.
And this is where the dream got...dreamlike.
The man I hugged was rather taken aback and wouldn't tell me his name. Actually, he was VERY put out by it and nearly fell down putting distance between he and I. If I had not had him in a Bear Hug, he might even have got away!
The whole thing, as dreams go, was starting to seem like a big mistake, but I would not be deterred. I was going to inflict myself onto each one of you until you were my friends!
The other man in the white sweater thought it was funny as hell and
laughed and laughed and laughed; He said his name was "Mr Wood", and I
couldn't help feeling in the dream that there was something sexual about the name
for the sake of the dream.
I got the feeling he knew more than the rest of us, and there was something about him I did not trust at all.
And you, well, you acted like you didn't know who I was and my
repeated attempts to tell you I was "Bulletholes" were unsuccessful.
'Its me, Bulletholes!" I said.
You shook your head no.
"You know, Bulletholes in the Mailbox!" I tried again.
You looked worried, like I might be mad and shook your head even harder.
"We've known each other for years!" and its true, though we've never met.
You looked at me like I was the ghost of George Bailey, the guy in "its a Wonderful Life" and seemed to back away, like his wife Mary the librarian did in the movie.
But your dog ol' Duff, well ... he was all over me , licking my face and jumping and
being a big ol' friendly dog.
I liked Duff the best of all your friends!
I woke up giving "Dog-Kisses" to my pillow!
Need a new pillow...
Now I sent this to my friend Kissyface and she did a great job analyzing it for me.
If I were to meet any of you out there, or your friends, or your dog, I'd be very excited!
So what did Kissyface say?
Well, heres a paragraph from what she sent me that smacks pretty real to me...
"Anyway, you have a trinity of something going on here. I can't help but thinking that we, with our nerd glasses, represent something cerebral ot you. Maybe with all this writing and thinking you've been doing, you are starting to realize what a really smart fellow you are. I don't know if you thought of yourself as something else before, but you certainly say things that make it seem as if you did. I think of you as a very physical person, as well. Belly laughs, bawdy humor, big hugs, trickster, jokester, a big shoulder to cry on, the class clown with deep pain and a big, big heart, a shining optimist at once a bit afeard yet truly in love with the world and its people."
Yes KFace, that is me!
I have always been able to tell how I am doing by how I see other people. When I am doing poorly, everyone looks ugly and hateful to me. When I'm doing well, everyones is in love.
Posted by bulletholes at 1:50 PM
Wednesday, April 01, 2009