Wednesday, April 16, 2014

OMG...! When I was sixteen I had a dream about a machine JUST LIKE THIS ONE! (second only to Woody Allen's "Orgasmatron", in my book!)

 According to the article, a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado is going to feature a vending machine to help dispense the meds.
When I was a teenager, I dreamed of something like this, but never thought it would actually happen.
Now... if we can only get one of these!

"FREELOADER'S CATTLE CONFISCATED BY FEDS, TAXPAYERS' TO RECOUP LOSSES" (what the headlines might have read if the circumstances in Nevada were slightly different)

           So a millionaire ignores the government's warning to either move his cattle off of federal land or pay the taxes and penalties he owes for their grazing. Right wing militias swarm to his defense, and a tense standoff ensues. Faux News and other conservatives stoke up anti-government sentiment, and the guy becomes a "national hero" like Ted Nugent (sigh)... 

          Here's a thought test for anyone willing to give it a try: 

          What would the reaction from the right have been if this farmer had been a black man or an immigrant who refused to pay his share of taxes?

           My guess is they would call the guy a freeloader trying to rip off taxpayers by mooching off of federal lands, and they would have supported the government's confiscation of his property and cattle.

           I could be wrong, of course.  I'm not...  But I guess I could be.

           Here's the theme song for the movie they'll make about this drama...


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


          She speaks too quickly, but this is hilarious!

Monday, April 14, 2014


           Maybe it's the fluorescent lighting.  Or the carpet. 

           Yeah, it's the lighting and that shitty carpet pattern.  And no magazines in a rack, like in every other waiting room lobby I've ever spent time in.  Nothing.  No television monitor on the wall, not even one playing a hospital video with uplifting music and inspirational screen shots.  Nothing at all to distract, except the incessant beeping and ringing of phones.  Phones in the pockets and pocketbooks of patients and their families, phones behind the reception desk where the perky young women click on their keyboards with those fingernails... Nothing to distract from the utter bleakness of the place.  But more than anything else, it's the conversations.  The muted, hushed whispers of the others who shared the room and that particular moment.  And the moments that followed.  And the ones that followed those.  It went on all morning.  It was going on when we left this afternoon.  It's still going on, and will pick back up again first thing in the morning when the next group of cancer patients arrive for their infusion treatments.  The place will be packed, just like today.  Every seat taken, and folks in wheelchairs with bored, depressed, stressed out looking people standing around them, looking at watches.  Answering phones.  Filling out more paperwork on clipboards.  And they'll be talking about $5000 copays, and astronomical deductible fees, and lawsuits filed against insurance companies.  They'll be talking about the lack of sleep, or what they were able to eat and keep down in the last twenty-four hours.  They'll whisper things to one another everyone else can hear, because other than the ringing and beeping of phones, that's all there is to hear.  And at the reception desk, new arrivals to the room will announce their names to the perky ones behind the keyboards, and then they'll tell everyone in the cancer treatment center the exact date of their birth.  And a lot of them will have birthdates that are many years closer to today's date than my own birthday.  Some will have birthdates that are many years after the date of my high school graduation.  And some of them will be wearing ill-fitted wigs, while others wear bandanas.  A few will do little to hide the fact that great clumps of their hair are missing.  And for every person who seems defeated and worn out, there are three who are as cheerful as songbirds on a spring morning, doing their best to keep up the spirits of the caregivers who have helped deliver them to this sad room in this sad place.  Every morning.  Every afternoon.  Every day. 

          And that was just one treatment room in one hospital, in a city with dozens just like it.  Cancer is epidemic, if you want to know how it affected me today.  You can't ignore the fact that young and old are among its victims.  Some of those who shared that room with us today won't be here this time next year.  Maybe they'll be in complete remission, healthy as mules, with nothing but fond memories of the fine treatment they received at the finest teaching hospital in the capital city of Tennessee.  Or maybe they'll be dead and buried, and their frazzled caregivers will still be in mourning.

         All I know is this:  cancer doesn't give a fuck if you're happy, rich, young, or old.  Cancer doesn't give a fuck if you have plans, kids, a bright future, or if you're a derelict living behind a dumpster.  It's an equal opportunity destroyer of lives, and it affects everyone in every family it strikes.

          And those sad rooms in those sad places are full of people who deserve better.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


          Yesterday afternoon it hit me... I was on hands and knees in the yard, plucking dandelions, and a car passing behind on our little street slowed to a crawl.  I sat up on my knees, looked straight ahead, and thought, "Oh dear god, I hope that's not one of my friends!"

          You see, I wasn't always willing to pluck dandelions.  In fact, I told some friends of mine (on more than one occasion, which is why I was worried yesterday) "If you ever see me crawling around plucking weeds out of a lawn, just shoot me, okay?"

           And heads nodded all around.  Several of my friends swore allegiance to my strange request, and promised to kill me on the spot if they ever saw such a thing taking place.  When you're happily single, living in a nookie-filled apartment complex, the idea of tending to a lawn was as ridiculous as the thought of volunteering to have both legs amputated.  Sane people don't do such things, so anyone afflicted with THAT degree of insanity might be better off dead, right?

            But there I was, grass stains on my knees, hunkered over like I was praying to Mecca, a five gallon bucket of dandelions at my side, when a car suddenly (and suspiciously) slowed to a crawl behind my ass.

            And thus the epiphany... I had made true friends of mine promise to mercifully end my life if I ever sunk to such depths.

            Okay, here's the deal...

            I want to revoke that earlier oath/promise, and ask forgiveness of all who might have been witness to my prior request.  Sometimes we end up doing things we swore we'd never do.  I know a good guy who once voted for a Republican.  He's since repented, but still... it made me question his character at the time.  I've gotten over it, because he seems to have seen the light.  But for a while there it was touch and go...

            If any of you see me doing something totally out of character, please be tolerant.  It might be that I'm working on some odd performance art routine.  Don't jump to conclusions.

            On another note, if anyone is making dandelion wine and needs basic supplies?  C'mon over and help yourself!  I've got a yard full of ingredients, and you can pluck all ya want!