Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Random Ten

It's Friday! All that really means for me today is that I'm packing up to drive six hours to visit my mother for a couple of days. Expect some light posting until Tuesday, unless I can talk one of my friends out of computer time. Without further ado here's the random ten from the iPod.

Ripple - - Grateful Dead
Hush-Hush - - Jimmy Reed
Hard Times - - Emmylou Harris (live at the Ryman)
32-20 Blues - - Robert Johnson
Ne Me Quitte Pas - - Jaques Brel
Turnstyled, Junkpiled - - Townes Van Zandt
Three Little Fishies - - Andrews Sisters
Pearline - - Son House
Angel From Montgomery - - John Prine
Bangles - - Hazy Shade of Winter (I fucking love their drummer that chick ROCKS)

Bonus Track (hit random twice and take the top)

Stag O'Lee - - Mississippi John Hurt

What's on your playlist today?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Detox Blues III

I drag myself through the two weeks of outpatient treatment. Trudge. Trudge. Trudge. There were a few things that penetrated through my general fog. One Doctor came and gave a talk about how addiction and alcoholism are truly diseases. He outlined the criteria that the AMA has set for something to be a disease. You need a susceptible host (that's me) and opportunistic condition (booze and drugs), you need a predictable course of action without treatment (die, go insane or go to jail), and a predictable course of action with treatment (stay in recovery, stay clean and sober and have a reasonable chance at a decent life). This realization of having a chronic condition rather than a moral deficiency or failure of character was something I still believe. I am a bit more pragmatic about going into and waxing lyrical on the science. I figure that if addiction was not a disease Blue Cross wouldn't pay for treatment, they'd write you off or tell you to go in a corner somewhere and pray.

Another thing that I saw during the two weeks was that not everybody was going to stay sober even for a short time. The statistics on recovery are grim. Most people who try to sober up don't. There's a saying in AA that "the road narrows" and it's true. There was a surgical nurse at the hospital who was in Detox with me and started in the outpatient program. He got drunk, went back into detox, got drunk there and I never saw him again. There was a very pretty young lady who only lasted a couple of days. The numbers of the statistics don't lie, but I have been in hard places before.

When I was in the Navy I entered a very tough training program that had a high rate of failure. The very first day of our training we were told my an officer to look to our right and then to our left. The officer then said "If you're here on graduation day those other two won't be." The difference for me was that I was standing between my two best friends. All three of us graduated. The statistics were true, they just played out somewhere else.

I realized that the people in treatment with me were not the ones I needed to connect with. When I first got to Viet Nam I was assigned a "sea daddy" who had been in country for a while. His job was to try and keep me from making rookie mistakes that would get me and those around me killed. None of the other cherries saved my life in combat, it was always the older salts. When I went to meetings during this time I was looking for the folks who had some years of sobriety under their belts. I also was looking for people that looked like they enjoyed being sober. I wasn't drinking or doing any drugs, but I hated every fucking minute of it. I knew that I wouldn't be able to hold out forever against that kind of pressure. I started being like a new kid in school on the playground, if somebody looked like they were having a good time I was there "Can I play?" If I heard them making plans to get coffee or have a bite to eat after the meeting I'd find out where they were going and show up.

It had been about four weeks into this when I cornered one of the doctors in the hallway and told him that this no sleeping shit had to stop. He was about to explain to me again that nobody ever died from lack of sleep and I told him "If I don't get a few hours from somewhere the next motherfucker that tells me nobody ever died is going to be the first." They prescribed one pill at a time of Doxepin which is an antidepressent that causes you to get drowsy. The first night of sleep I got was wonderful. After that I was able to muddle through using over the counter antihistamines when it got to be too much for me. I was also at this time learning how to work with doctors and nurses without scamming those "get the fuck outta my office" prescriptions. But I'll get into that whole what do you do with prescription meds in recovery stuff later.

At about six weeks of sobriety I had to play a double wedding. I had already spent the money so I couldn't cancel. I didn't know what it would be like playing in front of people without being stoned. I hadn't done it in years. I took my harp and my gear and went to a beautiful mission in California. They have a wonderful rose garden there and the acoustics in the chapel are superb.

Here I am, set up in the garden. I'm watching the crowd come in and I see the groom, he looks like he's about twelve. The bride doesn't look like she's old enough to be unsupervised on MySpace let alone getting married. I keep playing on, but I'm starting to really knot up inside. Here I am with my fourth marraige in the dumpster waiting for the truck and these poor dumb kids don't know what the fuck is in store for them. Then I realize I'm playing a fucking harp in a rose garden and I feel like shit. I can't appreciate any beauty, I don't want to be here, I am coming the fuck unglued is what's happening.

Somehow, the service ends. I can't leave yet because there's another wedding in a couple of hours. I am about ready to climb the walls or do something stupid. I see a pay phone. I call Jessie Joe and he answers. I tell him how fucked up and shitty I feel. I blurt that "I'm playing a harp in a fucking rose garden for crying out loud. If I can't get ahold of some of this goddamned promised serenity doing that what the fuck kind of hope is there?" Jessie Joe says "Are you loaded?" I say "Fuck no." He says "Good. Do you want to get loaded?" I say "Of course I want to get loaded I'm a goddamned junkie, but I want to find a way to not get loaded. That doesn't make any sense, no wonder I'm so fucked up." Jessie Joe says "Have you tried praying?" I say "Pray? What the fuck kind of bullshit is that?" He says "It's not hard, you just take a few breaths and say something nice to god." I tell him I don't get into all that god crap and Jessie Joe says "Do you believe that I believe?" I say yes. He says "Can you pretend for a few minutes that there's a god that gives a shit about your sorry ass?" I say I'll try. He tells me to pray and then call him back.

I fucking pray. I feel a little better. Jessie Joe invites himself to the next wedding. I do fine. As we are leaving the mission I see that there is a bar right across the street. I didn't go there. I still do that a lot in recovery. I'm an atheist. I don't do god. Except that the program is one of spiritual growth and learning. Most of the time I believe that other people believe and that's enough. I know this for certain. When I prayed to a god I didn't believe in for help, I ended up in AA with people like Jessie Joe. I'm not a big enough fool to argue with results like that.

Another real touchy moment was right after that. I needed to go into Hollywood for a recording session. I took a guy from the meetings who had a couple of years sobriety with me. He was all excited about getting to meet the chick singer I was playing for and I was glad to have somebody there with me to keep me from doing something idiotic on the spur of the moment or a whim. Sunset Blvd can be dangerous. There are people that will run up to your car at a stop light with a loaded syringe of dope or just about any other type of stuff you might want. I manage to get to the studio without buying or using anything.

While I'm in the studio getting ready to do my job I reach into my guitar case to get my picks and my tuner out of the little box under the neck. In there with the stuff I need is a couple of syringes, little bag of heroin, a little bag of coke, some weed and a few pills. I freeze. I just stand there for what seems like forever. I finally find a way to back away from the case and I'm trying to figure out what to do. Luckily I know the sound engineer, I know he's not tyring to quit anything so I go over and tell him what's in my case, that I'm trying to quit and if he would please get it the fuck out of there and away from me it's his to do what ever he wants to do with it.

The session goes well. I am so full of adrenaline it's like I just dodged a hail of bullets or something. I play my ass off and we're out of the session in no time at all. The guy riding shotgun has an autograph and a couple of pictures to keep. I know from checking the internet that there's a meeting on Sunset that starts at 10p.m. I've heard a lot of studio musicians go there to wait for the strip to calm down a little before going home.

With the exception of my agent and my family I haven't gone out of my way to tell anybody in the industry about trying to sober up. I don't know what I was expecting them to say, shit like, "Oh my God! Not you!" or what. The thing is when I go into this meeting, one of the first people I see is somebody I've played with while he was sober and I wasn't. I stand there without saying or doing anything and he smiles big and says "Dude! You made it!"

You're right. I. Fucking. Did.


From the astonishing   Mazen Kerbaj
in Beruit. The courage, the stubborness, the creativity in the teeth of hell makes me ashamed to be safe while he's in such danger. Reprinted in full from the link above because it's brave, defiant, and beautiful.

i won't stop
a quick post to say two things:

1- even if there is a day where you don't see new posts, you should know that i am drawing every fucking day at least 3 to 4 drawings. just keep checking, they'll be here at some point.

2- i have now a program to check the daily visits. it is around 11000 per day. the real number of visitors is bigger if knowing that a lot of the "regulars" connect once or twice in a week. the real number must be around 15000 maybe.
there is 15000 persons seeing this blog! it's incredible no?
guys if each one of these 15000 can drag 10 more people asking them to drag 10 more, we'll be a fucking million and a half. and if this million can drag some more...
i am not totally naive and more likely a little bit sceptical, but it seems for me that a webtifada is possible. ghandi's concept but on the net. one fucking billion of people saying NO. it looks cheesy i know, but is there something else to do?
anyways, i thank you all (especially the israelis, germans, english and american people who have the balls to refuse what they are told they should do by their government).
i'd like to be able to thank personally, "live", each one of you. it'll take a lifetime, but i'll try. after.

we have a recording session now (with charbel haber, raed yassin, sharif sehnaoui, bechir saadé and myself). a recording session with ALL the lebanese improv scene. pretty small i know.
we fucking resist. we fucking resist. we fucking resist.

i'll try to post the 12 drawings of yesterday this evening. at least some of them.
and sorry again for the emails and comments i am not answering. i am reading EVERYTHING but not finding time to answer.
and sorry not to have erased yet the fucking racist/xenophobe/ brainless comments on some of the drawings. i'll be back on them!

The Book Meme

Normally I avoid this type of thing like the plague itself but, coming fromthe litbrit and, involving a lifelong passion of books, all I can say is "Sure, why not?"

1. One book that has changed your life. Only one? That's silly. Books have been changing my life my whole life. From JFK's "Profiles in Courage" to Cervantes' "Don Quixote" to Heller's "Catch-22" to Manchester's "Goodbye Darkness" to Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" to Sheehan's "A Bright and Shining Lie" to Palast's "Armed Madhouse" to Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse 5 or The Children's Crusade" I have read voraciously my entire life. I hope never to quit, if I ever go blind, I'll learn braille or get them on tape. By the way, they always need readers for that program. Also, almost every library has a literacy program, go volunteer.

2. One book you have read more than once. I read Xenophon's Anabasis at least once a year and have since High School. It is a masterful work and details how to fight a war without losing your soul, spirit, or the vast majority of your troops. They should tattoo passages from Xenophon on Rummy's ass.

3. One book you would want on a Desert Island The Foxfire Book: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining (Paperback) If you've read my blog for any length of time you know that I am a pragmatist first and a romantic second. There are five volumes in this collection so, if a series is permitted, I'll take all five.

4. One book that made you laugh. Recently, Max Barry "Jennifer Government" but TJ Boyle, Vonnegut, Heller, Cervantes, Fielding, Swift, Shakespeare, Molly Ivins, John Lennon, and e.e. cummings are all laugh out loud funny.

5. One book you wish you had written. "A Distant Mirror" by Barbara Tuchman. One of the best history writers ever. "Clouds" by Aristophanes comes in second because to be still true, still performed, and still fucking funny after 2,300 years just speaks for itself.

6. One book you wish had never been written. Everything ever done by Ann Coulter. Also, the shitty history texts they made me gag my way through in high school. However, once written, they have a right to publish them. I have some provocative and outrageous books in my library. I don't discriminate or limit my research to only those who agree with me. I think it's important to hear every side I can hear.

7. One book that made you cry. "Old Yeller" if you didn't cry you're a heartless bastard.

8. One book you are currently reading. One at a time? That doesn't work for me. Right now, in the living room is "The One Percent Solution" on the bedside table is "No Thanks" by cummings and "The Rebels of Ireland"

9. One book you've been meaning to read. John Dean's latest, it hasn't arrived yet.

10. One book you wish everybody would read. Can't do just one here either dammit. These two have to be taken together because they are about the same unit in Iraq from the perspective of an embedded reporter and the Lt. commanding. They did not communicate during their writing, and the way their stories mesh testifies to the truth of the story. So, class, your summer reading assignment is:

Generation Kill, Evan Wright


One Bullet Away, The Making of a Marine Officer, Nathaniel Fick

Amazing reads both of them.

11. Now tag five people . . .jesus this is the part I hate most. But only for you, Brit m'dear. . .Peter, of Lone Tree, maurinsky, konagod,The Dark Wraith, and grumpy old man. But, only if they read this and choose to respond. I can't bring myself to do the email thing (i'm a wimp about stuff like that. . .)


If anyone else feels like they want to join in and tag themselves I encourage them to do so. Books are wonderful, my nieces and nephews all know that presents from me are almost always books. Strange books, subversive books, beautiful books. I have a room in my house devoted to four walls of floor to ceiling bookshelves, there is no stereo or electronic noise in that room. Just me and the books. I haven't put the ladder on wheels in yet, but it's coming, I assure you.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Detox Blues II

Just to give you an idea of how sick I was from withdrawal, the hospital that I was at sends a woman home the day after she gives birth by Ceasarian section. I was an inpatient for two weeks. It took that long for the symptoms to ease up enough that I was capable of any semblance of self-care. I was still pretty shaky though. Still hadn't slept much either. Every time I'd complain about not sleeping they would just kind of smile and politely remind me that "Nobody ever died from lack of sleep." Bastards.

My discharge day came, and I was more than a bit apprehensive about going home. I knew that lovely wife had no intention of quitting anything. I knew that this was going to be a problem. I was discharged at 2 p.m. and went out the gate to my new life to see nothing. No car, no lovely wife, no kids, nothing. Luckily I had a guy from the AA meetings that had given me his number, he was a retired dude with time on his hands and when I called him he said he'd be over right away.

He drops me off at the house and asks if I want him to wait. I say, "if it's no trouble that might be best." I take a deep breath and go into the house. I'm not even all the way into the bathroom looking for lovely wife when I smell the heroin cooking. I'm not even thinking all that much about getting stoned, I just want a few minutes where I'm not sick. However, those bastards at the hospital have me taking a drug called naltrexone, which is the pill form of the Narcan that they give you when you've overdosed. It is an opiate blocker. I know that even if I shoot a dose it won't do anything except put a hole in my arm and get me kicked out of the 14 day outpatient program that I've agreed to enter. The thing is, because she's having such a hard time getting her shot handled, lovely wife is crying. She really wanted to come and get me, but. . .well. I suck it up one more time and give her the shot. I tell her that I need to stay somewhere else for a bit so that I can finish this program that the insurance guys want me to do. She says fine. Not "oh honey, stay, I'll do anything for you, we can work this out." Nothing like that. If I leave it's fine. I knew this deep down anyway. We haven't been married in anything but name, for any reason except the kids we're fucking up righteously for a long time. It's time to go. I grab one of the bags I never unpacked, hoping it's full of clean clothes and a guitar so that I can practice and head out to the car.

The AA dude asks me what I want to do. I tell him that the only fucking thing I know right now is that I don't want to get loaded. He says, there's a club up the road where they have pretty much around the clock meetings. Let's go get some coffee and think about your options. That's cool with me.

We go into this AA club, it's a run-down little house on the side of the road, they serve coffee, have a couple of pool tables and just about on the hour, every hour there's a meeting of some kind.

We get some coffee and sit down to wait fifteen or so minutes for the next meeting to start. I'm trying to think of what to do. Hotel? Yeah, I could do that. Hell, I feel at this point that hotels are really where I live my life anyway. I'm clicking off the options. We go into the meeting. While I'm in the meeting I tell them exactly how fucked I am right now. They applaud. Bastards.

Between one of the three meetings we hit that night my oldest daughter calls my cell. It turns out that she's in town to visit her mother (1st ex) and where the fuck am I? I tell her and she starts to semi-sob and laugh. She tells me that she's been in recovery for three years right now. Yes, she's still a stripper in Alaska (talk about making stupid money!), yes she's still in college, yes, she still wants to be a school teacher, but Da, I make $600 a shift at the Dead Dog (that's really the name of the place in Alaska, The Dead Dog Saloon but we'll get to more of that place later in the story). She says she's coming over to the club and we will do a meeting together and talk about stuff.

The upshot of my daughter coming to the meeting place is that she says she's talked it over with 1stX, and I'm welcome to stay on the couch. It's a short drive from the place where I'm going to be spending the next couple of weeks anyway. I figure, what the fuck? I tell AA dude thanks and that I'll see him at the 6:30 a.m. meeting at the church on Mango street. I can't fucking sleep anyway so might as well have some coffee before the outpatient thing starts at 8 anyway. Strippergirl and I go to the house and I grab some more stuff and take one of my cars. We go to the house of 1stX.

1stX was a nurse that I met while I was recovering from wounds I received in Viet Nam. We were married for three years, one daughter, then just as I'm about to get out of the service 1stX calmly informs me that she's leaving the service too. They've given her the option of resigning her commission because she's been having an affair with a lady doctor. 1stX has decided that she's tired of living a lie, and I'm a big part of the lie. I figure, Ok, since I'm planning on going back to Arizona anyway and cashing in on the G.I. bill to do some college. So we do a quickie divorce in TJ and parts on more or less decent terms.

For the next two weeks, I'm still not sleeping. My day goes like this. 6:30 a.m. go to the meeting. Then get some more coffee, and drag myself through the outpatient classes. I guess they're somewhat interesting but I'm such a wreck that there isn't much that's capable of penetrating my misery. 4:00 p.m. get out of the program and go to 1stX's house, play with my grandson, talk with Strippergirl and cook some dinner for 1stX and her wife. Then, depending on the night, go to a meeting. At this point people at the meetings are starting to see that even though I feel like hammered crap I'm dragging myself though day by fucking bloody day. They start to do things like give me their phone numbers. Some of them are stupid enough to say "Call me anytime." I can't sleep guys. So, to amuse myself, at say, 3ish in the morning I'll call and say "Hi, remember me from the meeting? You said to call anytime right?" Some of them stay on the line and talk to me for a while. Some of them tell me what to read in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Nobody hangs up on me. That feels good.

Here's a cute story about my first big book. This old vato named Jessie Joe (who will become my sponsor in AA which is a big fucking deal that I'll explain more about later) and I are with Stippergirl at a big huge speaker meeting. They have a big table full of AA books and stuff. Jessie Joe asks me if I have a big book, I say no, he says "I dare you to steal one off that table." I steal it. In a couple of days I start having conscience pangs. I talk to Jessie Joe about it and figure, OK, I'll fess up and give them the money at the meeting and everything's going to be cool. Jessie Joe says "No, that's not how stuff works around here. You're a thief and you need to quit being a thief. The way to make it up to that meeting is from now on, when you see a newcomer that needs a book, you should buy one for them." I hesitate. Jessie Joe says "You said yourself that you make stupid money playing music, you can afford it right?" I say "I don't make stupid money, but I do make pantsloads and I can afford it." You know what? For the last thirteen years I've been buying books for newcomers and it feels pretty fucking good.

More to come. . .In the next post I have a meltdown playing a wedding and do my first studio gig sober. . .

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Detox Blues

My lovely wife drove me to the detox while I polished off a bottle of Perrier-Jouet '75 (a damned fine champagne) like it was a soda pop. I suppose I could have left it for her, but she liked Kessler's sweet girl, but no palate. I get dropped off, it's after hours so I have to go around to the back and buzz in on an intercom.

A nurse comes out to do my evaluation. They do the normal stuff. Go through and make sure I'm not bringing in any dope or booze. (yes, people do that, shit, I've done it) They call the doctor to get the OK for admission. This doctor has seen me before. He's signed the papers that transferred me to several very expensive rehabs that cater to people in the entertainment industry. I'm sure that somebody, somewhere has gone through one of these joints and gotten sober. I just know that I never did. As soon as they started making sure that I understood how fucking special I was and stuff the whole message of recovery got lost. Anyway the Dr. who I will call Dr. Eye (as in talian) isn't all that impressed with me showing up on a Sunday evening and causing a phone call that interupts his weekend. He tells them that he is pretty tired of seeing my ass every three to four months and spending insurance bucks so that I can go out and come back in even worse shape a few months from now. He finally tells them that they can go ahead and admit me, but he wants to see me first thing in the morning.

As far as any medical detox program, he has me on a bare minimum this time. The son of a bitch wants me to feel how far gone I am. Usually, in a hospital you can talk them out of some alternative drugs to ease through the withdrawal sickness, but not this time for me. He wants me to feel this. By the time three hours have passed I am one sick puppy.

For those who aren't familiar with it, withdrawal sickness is like a nasty case of the flu, with insomnia, intestinal cramps, nausea, migranes, alternate hot flashes and chills, uncontrollable shivering, a lot of fun stuff like that. One of the worst parts about it is that you have a fairly good sense that it is not going to fatal, it's just going to feel like homegrown dogshit for a long time.

The doctor and his entourage wait until well into the morning, when I am really sick before they come to see me. They tell me that as an insurance entity they have decided that I am not cost effective and that should I fail to maintain a reasonable degree of sobriety, like say, six or nine months, they will cancel my medical coverage and refuse to treat me anymore. The effect of this is to instill in me an honest desire to keep my medical insurance. After all, this is America and if you're not covered (or your family isn't covered) you're in some deep kim chee.

On my third night in the hospital I have a heart attack. I wake up in the middle of the night with the whole shooting pain in the left arm, crushing sensation in my chest. I'm so plowed under by this that I can't even manage to get to the call button. In a stroke of extreme luck (yes, I believe in luck, dumb, blind, screaming luck) a night janitor (who happened to have 19 years of sobriety at the time, later became a good friend, and died on a gurney awaiting a liver transplant) saw me in distress and called the code. For anyone planning a heart attack I heartily recommend having in the hospital if you can arrange that. I was later told that if I had needed an ambulance ride or been more than a few minutes away from help I would have been a goner. The biggest bright spot of the whole evening is when the cardiologist is looking at the ticker ticker tape and says "This is not your first heart attack." All I could say was "I guess heroin kicks the shit outta them huh?" I thought it was dead clever, he wasn't amused, must be a cardiologist thing. I get stabilized, and spend the next day in ICU under close observation.

Once I'm out of the woods on the cardio stuff, I go back to the detox ward. Dr. Eye comes to see me and tells me that he thinks he can help me find a way to stay alive. He starts laying some heavy shit on me. He says that according to the cardiologist if I hadn't come to the hospital when I did, I probably would not have lived another 24 hours. I probably would have died at home that night or soon after. Dr. Eye asks me point blank if I'm ready to die. I say no. He says "So what now? Are you ready to make some changes?" I say "sure, why not?" (I still love Pat Paulson, he would have made a great president) Dr. Eye tells me that the only thing he's ever seen work for people like me is to attend AA meetings. They have a 14 day out patient program for when I leave the detox unit, but that very night at the hospital there is an AA meeting. He says I should go. I tell him that I will. He's glad to hear that but makes sure that he assigns a big ass male nurse on the evening shift to see that it happens.

I'm still pretty sick. Got all the same symptoms working, along with being pretty beat up from the ER and shit. But Clarence puts me in a wheelchair and takes me down the hall to the meeting. I want you to picture this with me. A shaking, sweating, aging hippie in pj's in a wheelchair surrounded by well dressed white guys, walking around, talking loudly to each other, coming up to me, holding out their hands saying "Hi, I'm Bob, pleased to meet you." like we're at a fucking junior chamber of commerce meeting or some crap like that. The jazz baby in me is thinking "I may look and feel like shit, but damn, I am just too fucking cool for this room dude." Anyway, I almost make it through the meeting, but the nausea and fatigue catches up with me. One of the guys at the meeting walks alongside me as Clarence takes me back to the unit and gives me his phone number. He says "Call me if you're not a punk." I'm thinking, "Jack, this shit is so ON."

More to come later. . .

The Day I Got Sober

It starts, like so many of my days, on an airplane. My first memory of the day is that I was sitting on an airplane going home. I was smugly proud of myself because I had only used enough to be straight. I wasn't stoned, just functional. That was a lot of my using at this point. I needed a lot to be functional though. A. Lot.

I get to the airport and there's nobody there to meet me. This isn't unusual either. My wife is a dedicated addict herself. (I tend to use the terms addict and alcoholic pretty interchangably. If I'm speaking of being an addict, assume I'm drinking in a pretty dysfunctional manner too.) So, I catch the shuttle from the airport and in about a half an hour I show up at the house. My young kids (there is one older daughter from my first failed marraige but she's an adult in Alaska at this point of the story) are there, and they come running up "Hi Da! Didja bring me anything? What? Cool! Thanks, gotta go!" They really don't care at this point whether or not I'm home. They know that my being home means mainly that their mother and I will be fighting viciously at some point in the very near future.

I go into the house and find lovely wife (even in the throes of addiction she remained lovely in a Kate Moss sort of way) is trying to find a vein. She's been trying since she knew that I was coming home and has been trying hard to get in shape to drive and pick me up. (Scary to think that there are people out there that are incapable of functioning unless they're legally under the influence ain't it?) So, being as good a husband as I ever was (which isn't all that good) I use my experience and skill and get her dose delivered where upon she plants a hello kiss on my cheek and goes about her business. So, here I am. Just got home, after going to all that trouble and expending energy on self control to show up straight and functional rather than stoned and nobody cares.

I know. I'll show them. I dig into my bags and I find a good sized going on stage dose (which at this point involves .5 gram heroin mixed with .5 gram cocaine and this is good shit too. The only people that get better dope than musicians are lawyers, judges and narcs) With a minimum of fuss the deed is done and I feel the rush. The problem this time is that even with all this dope on board. Standing there rushing my ass off, I still feel like shit. I know my life is a failure. My kids don't care whether or not I'm home, my wife, once she gets hers really has no use for me.

This is confusing. I have a job that people fantasize about having. I make pantsloads of money doing that job. (for you accountants a pantsload is way more than a shitload approaching the rarified zone of stupid money) I tour the world, playing music, listening to people bang their hands together and shout merely because I deigned to show the fuck up. How can my life suck this bad? I can't escape the fact that it does suck. It. Sucks. Out. Loud.

Now I'm really getting depressed. Refer to the dosages above. It is really impossible at this point to physically get more dope into my body. I'm drinking way more than a bottle a day. Yet, at the upper limits of consumption. Every. Thing. Sucks.

I go and find my lovely wife and tell her that I need to go to the DeTox at the hospital. This isn't unusual behavior on my part either. Generally at the end of a tour I spend a week or two bringing my habit down to managable levels. Not with the idea of living a clean and sober life, but being able to get a buzz off a quarter gram and a double shot of Jameson's.

She takes me, I check in. The journey begins.
More to follow.

Aside to my children, family and friends who are reading this:

Feel free to loudly call bullshit if you find me spouting it. Your stories are an integral part of my own. I need you in my life, and you have the right to let everyone know when I'm full of shit.

Next up:
Detox blues.


Originally uploaded by mazen kerbaj.
nothing to add.

Monday, July 31, 2006

What Kind of Role Playing Game Character Are You?

66% Combativeness, 60% Sneakiness, 67% Intellect, 22% Spirituality
Dashing and multi-talented: You are a Bard!
A decent warrior, reasonable spell-caster, and fairly good at tricking people, the Bard is the jack of all trades. These charming fellows live by their wits, though a sharp blade, a few spells, and some lockpicks never hurt.
Smart, sneaky, and aggressive, you're probably good at most things you try. You don’t have much need for spirituality or superstition and are much more likely to live in the here and now... and if you can get some fun and profit out of the here and now, even better.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 65% on Combativeness

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 88% on Sneakiness

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 45% on Intellect

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 11% on Spirituality
Link: The RPG Class Test written by MFlowers on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

(it's cool when they get your real life job right isn't it?)


Originally uploaded by moucho_negro.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

-- William Butler Yeats

thanks to Peter of Lone Tree for the link to Yeats

Sunday, July 30, 2006

8485 Random Flickr Blogging

Originally uploaded by cospho.
After the failure of Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice to produce anything but more bloodshed and slaughter in Lebanon. The Bush team brings in Princess Sparkle Pink Booties in a last ditch attempt to attain lasting peace. The IDF attempts to shoot down her plane. Hizbullah remains unimpressed.

kana / beirut

kana / beirut
Originally uploaded by mazen kerbaj.
go see mazen, listen to his music, follow his links,
scream and cry, mourn for these people.

these were mazen's words. i thought they would be included with the post.

2,000 years ago, in qana, jesus transformed water into wine

today, in qana, the israeli air force transformed kids into ashes

today, in beirut, i am not able to transform this page into a drawing.

today, at home, i am unable to transform anything but shame, disgust, and sorrow.

Please, Tell Me He Didn't Say That (yup he did)

I caught a few minutes of the George Stephanapolous (and his hair!) show this morning and while talking with an Israeli official about a pending investigation the Israeli told him that they knew where the blame for all the civilian casualties in Tyre and the rest of Lebanon rests. It's Hizbullah's fault. We dropped leaflets that said get out. If they are still there we must assume that they are somehow affiliated with Hizbullah. (ummmmm, what if they couldn't get away because you bombed the fucking road asshole?)

This sounds like nothing less than the insane rantings of abusive husbands and parents. "She provoked me into beating the shit outta her, I told her I hate cold eggs in the morning! I told her!" or "Kid lies to his parents, kid gets a beating, the bible says spare the rod you know."

In the early days of the Arizona territory, law and order was represented by a mere twenty-six Arizona Rangers. Their deeds and courage are truly the stuff of legend. There was a judge in Prescott (the capital of the territory) who once ruled a man's death to be a suicide because "A Ranger told him to halt and he didn't."

The thing is, we're not in territorial Arizona, or even family court. If you are killing people whose only crime is not being able to get away you're a war criminal, if your wife or children provoke you and you don't walk away, you're an abuser.

It really is that simple.