Saturday, June 4, 2016

Ain't No Wheels on the Damn Bus...

We admit it. We've been pop culture snobs for maybe some good reasons in the beginning, but it's just gotten silly. We've missed some extraordinary things. But thanks to suggestions and the ubiquitousness of YouTube, we can find all sorts of things...

Should add Facebook to that mix, because this scrolled across today and made us, in the immortal word of Mr. Hiram Kasten, '...currrrrious'.

In a nutshell, it's the real thing.

Because the news can be really sad sometimes...a teeny bit of respite.

34 seconds, to be exact.


Daisies Made of Steel

Maybe if I hadn't heard someone say, regarding this very little girl, "It's not like she's dying or anything", this particular page wouldn't have snagged me.

The condition is not fatal. The dollar amount looks absurdly high.

But maybe it we all have a look and pass this on, one of those daisy chains made of tungsten carbine. (I'm no metallurgy geek but listened to burly men discussing strong chain the other day.)

If you can, listen to the little video where Lilit is learning English. Something tells me, this kiddo is tougher than all the superheroes rolled into one.

Also - I've never stuck one of these things on our page before. It's not like I think any one kid deserves something and another doesn't. It'd just be cool to see where this went.

And as they say in advocacy circles, prayer isn't doing nothing.

Thanks for your time.

Friday, June 3, 2016

I read the news today, oh boy...

We've decided to repost - below - something we'd written earlier about the death of Prince, not because we believe in the profundity of our writing, but rather in the story itself...

This story does not belong to one person: A full picture of addiction will never be the measure of one person's story, anyway. But by sharing separate truths, in the form of individual stories, we can see more of the problem. Instead of separate lives ebbing away in secrecy, shame and solitude, let what some of us were lucky enough to've lived through be a light, however small, in those dark places.

The big picture instead of a million little ones in shards.


Unlike, say Ebola, an epidemic of addiction can't exist in a vacuum. Hiding away the afflicted won't stop its spread. Society itself conspires, however unwittingly, to buck-pass, deny, legislate into infinity. It's not because people don't care, individually or in the collective. It's because the problem is, inherently, as tricky as any which exist...

While it's true that becoming an addict is a thing that happens to a single person, it actually takes a village to make addiction possible. And because the early stages of opiate addiction look like anything but problematic use - after all, what kind of cruel person would deny someone pain relief? - by the time it's recognized as such, that horse, as they say, is long out of the barn.

Today's announcement that Prince died from an opiate overdose is heartbreaking, but not a surprise. What was surprising was that the opiate in his system was one of the strongest kinds manufactured - the kind they give to cancer patients as their suffering is at its greatest.

We don't know how he came to possess a drug this powerful. Whether it was physician-prescribed or dealer-bought, it seems criminal from here, yet trifling over the 'hows' would be disingenuous of us. After all, we only have one perspective, which, in the end, the damnable bitter end, may be the most important one: We know what an addict will do to get the medicine he - or she - needs.

If your first experience with opioids is due to pain, that means a doctor gave it to you. The tricky business of refills begins its convoluted dance. Few physicians are specifically trained in pain management and far fewer in addictionology. Either way, because so many signals get crossed or hidden in the early stages of narcotic abuse, even trained specialists are operating in the dark without one very important variable: the honesty of the patient.

By the way, we're not implying liars are prone to becoming drug addicts; but once the 'habit has taken hold'? We've rarely known an addict who isn't at least riddled with the buckshot of obfuscation: It's how we roll.

Still, addiction is a group effort and the whole village of suppliers - casual, legal or worse - has an equal hand in truth- hiding. By the time anyone besides the addict realizes what's happening, things have probably been unraveling for some time.

From personal experience, the opioid high - which effects people in surprisingly different ways - is such fun in these early stages, that it warrants putting off the internal 'conversation' necessary to avoid full scale addiction.

It just feels too good to consider stopping. Although, we had sprained muscle when we were given our first prescription - pain scale 8 - our first conscious thought after the hydrocodone got into our system was stark, indeed. It was simple: This stuff is too good to waste on pain.

We can't speak to the statistics about the differences between alcoholism and narcotic addiction, either, only that in our case, they're inextricably linked by virtue of the simplest measuring standard: One's too many and a hundred isn't enough. (As we've mentioned here before, a fifty pill a day habit might give hyperbole a run for its money.) "You should've known better."

Although if we heard this comment directed at another addict/alcoholic, we'd be tempted to shin kick the speaker with a mighty curse, in our case, we sure as hell should've. In a way, we saw it coming: With over seven years of good - OK, 'good' as in spiritually maintained - sobriety, we knew that we had a chemical predisposition that would require more and more of any drug only - the horror - to get less and less of an effect. But we'd never had opiates.

By the time full-blown dependency is realized, the threat of tyranny is long gone: Instead, the ruthless despot of full blownvaddiction is on his crazy throne and every resource and energy of the kingdom functions for one goal: to acquire supply. And, like any country exporting its entire treasury on war materiel, it quickly disintegrates from within. To be fair, we've known doctors who truly understand addiction, ones who are moral and empathetic: we're not lumping them in with the ones with thick prescription pads and a paucity of ethics. Now, with the grim tidings from Minneapolis, we'll assume the same parallels exist in the courts and leave them to their scramble.

For the those only peripherally familiar with addiction, there comes a point in using when the recreational aspect of 'the high' pales beside the necessity of the dose. Despite the fact that plenty of intelligent people become addicts, the realization of 'addict status' is usually on a much slower course than reality. It's like putting on a seatbelt only after you hear the sirens.

That's why they call it getting hooked. We also don't know the statistics on folks who realize a severe addiction and, at that same moment, walk away from it completely. On their own. Without getting help. We think they exist, but in microscopic minority. Realizing one's own addict status is like having a dog that bites at both ends: You need help on the backside to get out alive.

We're expecting the usual backlash via articles, essays and, sadly, well-meaning posturing in the wake of the coroner's report. It's how things. Are done.

While they're already making much of the oversupply of opiate painkillers, there is very little coverage of an equally important aspect of the discussion: A shortage of the drugs that help people recover from opiod addiction. Unlike methadone, these drugs do not simulate the narcotic high. (The drugs are called 'opioid agonists'.)

While the criminal aspects of any addict's death concern us, we know that scorn, shame or fear of prosecution will have little effect because we're just too damn familiar with what an addict will do, in the end, not to get high, but so sickness far surpassing the original complaint that landed them the prescription in the first place.

Instead of demonizing Prince, who IS the victim here, and hissing about his fame, know this: That very thing is probably the reason he's not here today.

Thanks for reading this. We may scratch it out and start over but feel the need to print it today. We cobbled it amid doing other things, sacred drudgery, really - the kinds of things that are very hard to do with dirt piled deep over our heads which is where we could be right now. Without a lot of help from Spirit - and how It works though people.

In closing.. Brothers and sisters

; )

If we may - this is from Prince's 1996 album "Emancipation".

It's just part of the song, but these are the words we thought of when we heard of his passing.

As we copied the lyrics, it seems we're having mix of feelings: a definitely

delayed reaction to his death and realizing the full weight of a phrase we've heard our whole lives, "But for God's grace, there go I."

There go a lot of us.

Lyrics from "The Holy River'

Let's go down to the holy river

If we drown then we'll be delivered

U can still see the picture on the wall

One eye staring at nothing at all

The other one trying to focus through all your tears

U can try and try but there's nothin to hide

U can't run from yourself and what's inside

U got to find the answers 2 the questions U most fear

So over and over you ask your soul

Why'd U come down to a world so cold?

And a voice inside says 2night the truth will be told.

U surrounded yourself with all the wrong faces

Spending your time in all the wrong places

Puttin your faith in things that only make you cry

People say they love U when they wanna help

But how can they when U can't help yourself?

The more they say they love you, the more U just wanna die...

Let's go down to the holy river

If we drown then we'll be delivered (Yes we will)

If we don't then we'll never see the light (No)

If U die before you try

I'll have 2 come back and face the light (Oh yes)

When U believe it U got a good reason 2 cry

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Truth or Dare: High Stakes Version

Eager to compete with the surge of patently insane, demagogic Dixie governors willing to trample coherent thought as well as human rights, Mississippi's resident ass clown Phil Bryant has not only taken the cake, he's baked several more, left them in the rain and everything else you can do with a damn cake by insisting that Christians will gladly endure crucifixion to fight LGBT rights.

You heard us right.

Call us kooky, but we imagine a comprehensive poll taken among other Christians would not bear out his prediction.

Actually, we're fairly sure that the only other people extant who are actively engaged in this ancient barbaric act are the minions over at ISIL. At the very least, the governor seems to have his stories mixed up. At worst, he's moved the discussion into the realm of unforgivable hyperbole.

Emperors of old Rome used to put on some pretty gruesome shows at the Colosseum, but they never offered themselves up as fodder for the violence. Hey. Perhaps we misjudged this guy: In a world where very few put their money where their mouth is, Bryant has stepped up to the plate. Or the cross. We can't be sure which..

Although we vehemently disagree with his views, and as tempting as it is to call his bet - we're hoping one of his own will quietly pull him aside and say, in the most respectful of tones, "Guv-nah, have you lost whatever pencil eraser sized cranium you had completely?"

To the mainstream press who featured this story: Thank you. We realize there are so many nutty sound bites hitting the airwaves it must be hard to keep track of it all. Granted, some threats are so over the top that they may seem more like comedic asides than legitimate news stories. But because some of the craziest of all are coming from one of two people who stand to become the next President of the United States, something tells us we better get used to it.

Wrong Turn Saves Stranded Dolphin

Bravery or heroism are things humans can fantasize about, but until those confounding moments in life that call upon such reserves, it's hard to know how any of us will respond...

Our favorite rescuers don't wear the T-shirts. And sometimes the most compelling examples of courage aren't ones requiring physical risk. Sometimes, all that's required is a commitment of time and energy you hadn't planned on spending.

We'd say to the woman in this story - and the others in it who prepare for these emergencies - thank you. For an act that seems small, but that's anything but. Especially to the dolphin.

(And because this is social media, to those snippy curmudgeons who would pen diatribes about not interfering with mother nature: Really? That's your takeaway from this? That your best offering? To thee we say, PIFFLE.)

I Can See For Miles and Miles

Today, in our continuing quest to learn about OPRDL (other people's really different lives), we heard the beginning of this unique story on NPR's All Things Considered.

At first, we held on tight, expecting a heart-dropping end. We haven't been so happy being wrong in a long time.

UFO Planet Sightings

This is the launch of Darin Crapo's new UFO sightings program. Every week, he posts plenty of bona fide curiouser and curiouser unidentified aerial phenomena and in a welcome departure from most other UFO clip programs, Darin endeavors to exhibit videos sans CGI, etc. He's also the first to give alternate theories, IE drones, spotlights, lens flares, reflections.

We look forward to it as much as The First 48 which is saying plenty.

You can catch it on YouTube and ROKU.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hurried Poetry Series for a Ghastly Campaign, VXXII

Praise for Geoffrey Chaucer

(In which we employ unrepentant, spontaneous verse after hearing a racist skank one too many times for comfort.)

Mr Chaucer, O that ye knew

what delights you left for our tongues:

Ribald, quaint begins to describe your language of blaspheme and fun.

Chickens or eggs happening first don't really seem to matter:

Whether you heard 'fuck' or just made it up - we love your damnable chatter!

Most of the time, our quivers are full with things that Webster left us

Until dreadful hos with fangs not teeth insulted but never out guessed us...

With a warning for parents to cover the ears

of their wee ones yet tender and pure,

They'll perhaps find us harsh, unrelenting

saying that which is wise to abjure...

Perdition looms, but Ann Coulter made us just say oh hell just screw it

We wanted to call her anything but that, but alas! We simply cunt do it!

(Tiny curtsey)

Monday, May 30, 2016


Thanking our good friend, Champ T., in the Minnesota National Guard for sending this to us , bringing a bit more perspective to Memorial Day than we might've had before.

PRET-ty, and WIT-ty and briiiiight....

Although the next line contains lyrics from another song, another kind of music altogether, we're hearing, by way of soundtrack, "Somethin' Else" by Little Richard...

She feels PRET-ty, and WIT-ty and briiiiight....

An Arab/Israeli Catholic ballerina, Caroline Khouri, 24 years-old, just won a transgender beauty pageant in Israel.

In a world where beauty pageants are increasingly anachronistic, this one heralds a thing apart.

Our observations about hate are comprised of causal hunches rather than stark statistics: We're not sociologists or politicians.

We just think another category of beauty might not be a bad thing.

We are also trying, without being utterly benign, to post things that don't generate snarky replies. Especially the ones covered in honey.

Fortunately - again with a hunch and not those pesky stats - the percentage of folks who sit in front of a screen waiting to peck mean drivel masquerading as thoughtful opinion pales beside those willing to throw even their dislikes upon the pyre of getting over things.

Strangely enough, that last batch won't require translation of the previous thought. And you're exactly who we're inviting to our own bonfire - of vanity, pique, all but equanimity.

Huge postscript: When we posted the photo of Mrs. Crouch yesterday, we'd no idea that she had taken very ill. It's a weird coincidence. We'd had that photo in our stock pile for some time and debated whether to post that one or a picture of another riotously unique person in a bizarre subset of American personalities. (He's not as infamous, but equally bizarre.)

Wherever we are seems closer to what's far - in the dark.

A song we'd never heard from 8000 miles away traveled to our ears

on this night. (Not mysteriously: a friend living in the North Territory of Australia sent it to us.)

Yet when we played it, all the dogs came into the room and lay down in front of the speaker as if listening.

That's never happened before.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Alexander Rossi.... Who?!

Yesssss. That one.

Kid came outta nowhere to win the Indy 500. His Wikipedia page was, as of a while ago, still in Polish. That - and some other things - might be changing at warp speed, sugar. We're grinning great big congratulations.

And, honey? Your Waffle House Friday nights might be seriously endangered.

We're just sayin'.

Hell, I thought they were just flying....

Memorial Day

This isn't just a flag waving lip service post. But it is about gratitude and maybe about perspective. We're by no means historians, but, in a way, reflection makes us all exactly that, however erroneously, however briefly.

First, however, if we may, to our Canadian pals, our Dutch ones, British friends, too - heck, wherever you're reading this - thanks in advance for your forbearance. We like to think of ourselves as world citizens, but y'all might have noticed that Americans are basically being rather awful to one another right now, so this post will have a bit of tight ass hall monitor quality to it. (And although this post is assuredly not comedic, we're cracking ourselves up at the full measure of bossy pants in-house patriotism we're about to display.)

The Post

We're incredibly grateful to our veterans, both dead and living, for your sacrifices for our country - a country we love very much. Since all the wars, especially in our own lifetimes, have not been popular ones, maybe, in a sense, some sacrifices have been greater than others: It's one thing to survive being shot at, mined, held as POW, but many of you had to return to a country who then demonized you for doing that very thing. You were men called through a draft system or perhaps you even volunteered because you believed our very freedom was at stake. Looking back, it doesn't matter, because you served.

Hopefully, times have changed much since Vietnam. Maybe one day soon, the people who legislate from safe distances to risk your lives will begin to be more circumspect about that very thing. Our gratitude is not diminished based on the popularity of the strife at hand. Without you, we're ALL at risk. So, although, Memorial Day is about remembering, it's also about looking ahead, holding close what is dear, recognizing courage, sacrifice and honor beyond what most of us are ever called to display. Ever. (Salute.)


Perhaps the preceding post was 'well enough alone', but we have been thinking about specifics, about history itself and about what it is that we're supposed to be remembering... In WWII, we crossed oceans to join forces with besieged nations to fight fascism. No one country did it alone. That may need repeating. We love America but we came to the fight later and cannot begin to claim the kinds of utter devastation experienced by both Allied and Axis powers' countries. The civilian losses are still, 70 years later, incomprehensible, making 9/11 look like a fireworks mishap. And we are NOT dissing the heroes of that dark day. Again, this is about perspective.

Still, without the United States' contribution of personnel and materiels in WWII, without our soldiers, sailors and airmen, the planet would be a much scarier place than it is now. And America, as we know it, might not be here at all.

It seems like a very good time to think about that. Why? Because we're amid

a presidential campaign that's more hateful and divisive than many of us can believe, one that threatens to build, if not curtains made of literal iron, then brick ones or, worse, ones of utter intolerance: the very kinds of walls our own veterans worked to destroy.

Despite the flaws, failings and foibles of the system and our citizenry, what's good - no, wait, what's GREAT - about America here is enormous. It's still sure as hell worth fighting for. Although the threat of terror inflicted from abroad is real and alarming, the bubbling up of hate right here among ourselves is just as frightening.

A house divided and all that.

Have a safe weekend. Tell a vet thank you.

And one other really big thing:

Please make sure the animals are protected from the darn fireworks.

Ask your vet what you can do.

We know. That's really candy assed but darn it, if we were completely sane, this wouldn't be so much fun to read, now would it?

Carry on.

(Insert Al Pacino "Scent of a Woman", "HOO-haaa!" here.)

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