Friday, June 17, 2016



Yesterday was Scorched Earth.

Yesterday was an amazing show of a devastating vocabulary.

Yesterday was, "You should run for cover when I'm angry."

Yesterday was a composition designed specifically to injure.

Yesterday was, "I no longer care. Burn the fucker to the ground."

Yesterday was, "Ha! I laugh at your ridiculous attempts to hurt me. I'll kill you with mere words! I'm just that fucking good!"

Yesterday was awesome.

I was just that fucking good. 

Results achieved, Earth scorched, wicked people vanquished.



Today one of my greatest friends told me he has an invasive melanoma.

All of those idiots that I destroyed yesterday are nothing.

Victory, hollow.

Those people were "sport writing."

The real test comes when your heart is fucking breaking.

I have nothing.

Nothing but love.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Whiskey for My Men

I noticed today that it was exactly one year ago that Mr. Drumpf announced his candidacy for President.

At the time, I made my usual political bet with the person I usually engage in these things, my old friend Greg.

Greg and I, when we get to talkin' about politics, call ourselves "Tip and the Gipper" because though we disagree, it's usually pretty friendly and there is whiskey involved.

Or, it's usually pretty friendly BECAUSE there is whiskey involved.

Your mileage may vary.

The bet was a bottle of whiskey of winner's choice (always the same prize) that D Rumpf wouldn't make it to the top 3 in the Republican primary.

I lost.

We also had running bet regarding Governor Christie's chances--that was an old bet, from back in the Bridge-gate days.

I won.

Unfortunately, the two bets have canceled themselves out, and no bottles of whiskey have been exchanged.

What a shit deal this election has been so far, huh?

Oh, who am I kidding?  We both won, we both get whiskey.

Also, we both lost....and we both get whiskey.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

I'm Mad As Hell, and...Oh, Look! A Butterfly!

I'm starting to wonder if I am angry enough to be an American these days...
I say this as someone who is in their 13th straight month of what I like to call "Outrage Exhaustion".

Politics. I love ya, but you're killing me with the Angry All The Time.
Like many Americans, I have an internet device epoxy-ed to my left hand. Yes, it is perhaps the sole cause of Outrage Exhaustion. Logically, I know this.

I claim some kind of moral high ground for being fully able to put my phone away when I'm in the company of other humans, but...I'm not in the company of other humans enough to make any significant impact on my screen time. I have a job, but I work at my home office, where the only other "people" have four legs and fur. These co-workers have their own feelings about my internet use, but as luck would have it, they can't lecture me about it as they don't speak English, and I, being a typical American, have not made the effort to learn much of their language.
(Side note: I decided to learn French. Do cats speak French? It would seem the logical language for the species..)
What comes with near-constant exposure to "news" and information about the election is what feels like a slow drain of the useful peace-keeping stuff of the mind: Poetry. Photography. Watching the sunset from the lanai over beers while sitting in West Maui. A quiet morning after a fresh snowfall in Minnesota. Justin Currie songs. Beautiful things.  Sure, there are people online who try to post these things, and I try to be one of them. Those people are vastly out-numbered, or perhaps just loudly shouted down, by The Angries yelling about everything and chastising you for NOT BEING ANGRY.
The Angries. They are pissed off because you think something different from what they think!!!  How dare you think that! GAH!  I'M SO ANGRY!!!
Confession time: I used to be an Angry and I used to toss out the  Angry Person Catch Phrase, "If you're not mad, you're not paying attention," with some regularity. I also used to drink Michelob. By virtue of not dying, I have matured in so many important ways.
The Angries...upon initial review you would think that, perhaps like the me of my youth, they just haven't had the life experience or the disappointment one eventually gets from drinking Michelob having everything not go their way for extended periods of time.
We tell ourselves eventually they will calm into action mode, accept that good things come almost exclusively through (gasp) *work + time*, and become an amazing force for change.
Angry people become action people! Even I, Angry Grrrrl, eventually replaced my "Screw You!" with a little sign hanging above my desk that reads, "Get To Work! You Aren't Being Paid To Believe In The Power Of Your Dreams!"
Over time, you come to learn that it's true. You can say, a million, 2 million, or 10 million times, how things should be, and you can wish it as hard as you like, but as you stand by and watch the good thing never materialize, you come to notice that you have to make it happen, or it won't. This happens to people as they...I'm going to use a big word, here...mature.  They get smarter, they use their resources to make change, yada-yada-yada Better World.

So excuse me for asking, but, we've been put on full-blown anger blast for what seems like a hell of a long time now and I want to know just how long The Angries plan to keep this shit up?

How long can people stay mad about politics?

I think we may be close to done. I's going to turn fun, again, soon.

We're living the dream, America.  I am renewed.

Welcome to Decision 2016: Smart-Asses vs Dumb-Asses.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

How Strong Are You?

In the weeks following the death of Prince, the reports of his pain reliever use began to filter in.
A segment of the population chalked his death up to "addict," dismissed him as not worth mourning, and moved on.
Another segment of the population said it is impossible--he was not a drug user.
Yet another segment of the population felt it was possible this is what may have happened, but that the cause of his death was unimportant to the real tragedy of it. His use of pain killers did not diminish him or his legacy in any way.
I fell into the third camp.
I read the story of how they were seeking help for him but it was too late--how the man who came to help him kick painkillers was in fact the one who ended up calling 911 after finding his body--and I found it to be one of the more profoundly sad stories I had ever read...but far from unique. People are dying. Not just celebrities.
I have a Neuro/Spinal condition that causes pain. Literally the only complete relief I have *ever* had from the physical pain caused by my condition is...Vicodin. No over the counter thing can touch it. The best I can expect from an OTC med on a pain day is to have just enough of an edge taken off to be able to sleep.
I *love* Vicodin. I don't care who hears me say that I love it. If you have a thing, one thing, that makes the droning bullshit of constant bodily pain disappear, even just for a little while, that thing is coveted. No sense trying to deny it. Having my ears stop ringing for just an hour makes me want to drop to my knees and thank a god I don't actually believe in, so you know that love is real. Any part of "hey, my head doesn't hurt!" is cause for celebration.
I do not take Vicodin. I haven't had any in years.
I'm "lucky" with my pain in that I can function. I'm not bed ridden. I can work.
Also? I'm a woman, and I'm here to tell you that old joke is true--most of us women will be cleaning our houses when the ambulance arrives to take us after the heart attack or stroke we just had, because even if we're fucking dying we don't want people to think badly of us.
Yes, not wanting to be any trouble is a sickness unto itself.
Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to fully-legal non-prescription marijuana--it doesn't do the same thing as Vicodin but sometimes you just need to tell the pain to go fuck itself and that means mildly clocking out for a couple hours. If you can do it in a way that causes no harm, that's the ticket. Alcohol is lovely, and all, but with my particular condition, dehydration is a real hazard, so best to stick with the plant.
Obviously, I have *feelings* about pain and pain relief. These feelings are complicated, just like pain is complicated. What is a 9 for one person on a pain scale is a 4 for someone else.
I am what some people would call "strong," which means I tolerate a fair bit of physical pain in an effort to not jump down the rabbit hole of relief that could potentially change my life for the worse (I feel GREAT but I can't keep a job! Yay!), or end it. I'm at about a 4 for pain most days, and on "pain days" it creeps up to a 7-8. Some people wouldn't tolerate the 4, but I do.
And...I am resentful of the fact that I have to be so fucking "strong". I am resentful of the fact that as a woman there is less chance for my pain to be taken seriously as I describe it to a physician. I am resentful of the fact that I have the pain in the first place.
With all of this resentment, I still don't act out, really. I'm still dutiful about my food and my exercise and my posture and all the other things. Most pain sufferers take it on. We take responsibility. And then we do shit like chug Nyquil straight from the bottle because OH MY GOD SLEEP WOULD BE SUCH A MERCY RIGHT NOW after pain randomly reappears, even though we did everything "right".
It's complicated.
Let us not forget the myriad of "experts" (read: your friends and family, or random internet advice givers...) telling you your pain is because you're working on the computer too much or just because you ate gluten or just because you're not doing the right kind of exercise, or are you sure you don't just need new glasses?
Even worse, in my opinion, anyway, are the ones giving you maybe a bit too much sympathy, as if you shouldn't have any responsibility at all. You get the feeling those people are the ones who, well, become addicted to painkillers, or at least help someone else become addicted.
It's complicated.
So...getting back to Prince...
If you have the means, things are available to you with little effort on your part, including both the poison and the cure.
Pain? We have a thing for that. That's easy.
Addiction? There's a thing for that, too. No waiting, sir, just say the word.
For everyone else...
Pain? You get judgment.
Addiction? You get judgment. And a long queue for treatment.
Somewhere in between all that is the celebrity with a drug problem. They have the means, so to speak, and they also have lot of hangers-on who are sympathetic to their issue.
These are the same overly sympathetic folks that made me shudder a few paragraphs ago. If I have 2, Prince had at least 20, on a slow day.
Lots of people offering their "help."
Pain?  That's easy.
But addiction...? Celebrities go straight to Judgment, with no long wait for treatment, and if they get it together, they're heroes at some point, because of all they went through.
If Prince were a random millionaire he could have anonymously checked in someplace a long time ago. Due to the misfortune of fame, he had to think about it and formulate a plan, and a PR strategy, etc., and, ultimately he thought about it for too long.
This is a simplification, of course.
Because it's complicated.
I will never know how he felt about pain or pain relief, even if he kept a detailed diary of it, because if my 4 was his 9, it would be impossible for me to understand how this happened.
This is true for all people. I know someone who died. I have someone in my life right now who is addicted to pain killers, and they have people who are sympathetic enough to give them drugs. I don't understand it, even though I suffer from chronic pain.
And...I don't understand it BECAUSE I suffer from chronic pain.  I'm "strong" enough to function outside of the bliss of opioids, even though they're the only thing that works. What's your problem? Come join the resentful people who suffer! We're the opposite of fun, and are ultimately just jealous that you seem to be getting all the good drugs, but join us anyway!
One can only hope that some things change now that we have lost a much beloved person, who, it turns out, had an addiction. Things like, "Legalize marijuana already, jeezuz..." and, "Can we FINALLY make it easy for people who are not anonymous millionaires who need treatment or want treatment to GET treatment?" (at least that part is getting started...)
Perhaps it will take the death of a US Senator's son or daughter to drag through any legislation with teeth--usually that's the way it goes. We didn't legalize same-sex marriage until everyone all of a sudden noticed they had a gay friend.
Just know that, even if you don't think you have a friend with a problem, you likely do. If you don't have a friend with a problem, your friends do, and it might be you.
How strong are you?