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Monday, February 28, 2011

More of the Eastern Glow Rising

My old friend just landed a 3-book deal with an e-publisher.
I'm tellin ya, the Great Leap Forwards is gonna come in thousands of individual jumps. Like a herd of frogs.

Can Gandalf and the Rohirrim be far away? ;)

Farewell Friggin February

With this last day of February, we mark the one-year date since Tommy T-Bone Wolk died. His is the last of the deaths of the First Death Month of the Calendar Year at Austanspace. He is still missed quite sharply.

As I stare out these Dickensian windows it has turned to slush world. This is Ingmar Bergman weather, for most people. It's runoff time, almost sugaring time. If you can just make it to early March, you'll live thru another winter. If you can get to June without breaking anything, you'll be fine til the fall. I don't make these rules.

In my 51 Februaries, this is second only to the February of 1986 in brutality. That was so bad that my friend Evan and I stayed in our respective beds for the whole month. Sober, too.

Still, with all the thrills and chills, hard times, bad news...there was good in this month, too. Nobody ever told me good was easy. I don't expect it to be anymore. Sometimes you even need a wall to charge at to get you off your ass again. The impact, however, will rock you back for a while. With all my head injuries I should be used to it. I should also put some padding in that helmet.

It seems I've traded my opiate addiction for Led Zep. I just can't listen to anything else right now. A little ELP on the side. But nothing soothes me, somehow, like Zep. Go figure. To the best of my knowledge, we are all ending February alive this year. That's a good start to March.

St. Billy's Cynicism Speech

Yanno, no matter how politically active you are, no matter how you tend your hope, here and there it's good to get a pep talk. In the clip here is St. Billy Bragg speaking to a younger generation. It's one of his best:

Non-Attitude Adjustments

Bit off in what makes for comfort thru the night; I woke at 1 a.m. as usual, but it's too warm in here to breathe and the pain is thru the roof. I'm not used to heat and my body is rebelling. It's clear that what works for easing pain while awake is not what works when trying to sleep. At least while my nose is still in this shape. And I really gotta start wondering- is this regular detox nose or are my sinuses all fucked up? This is a "sick" building, as they say; the ventilation is practically non-existent and it's nearly 150 years old. The owners don't invest much. Never had to take benadryl til I moved in here. I'm so glad I'll be out of here- 4 short weeks.

I tried to get back to sleep for 2 hours, then gave up. Watched a good PBS doc about Roman British Legions and the reign of Septimus Severus, all thru a discovered archeological dig in York and the piecing together of how and who these bodies were that ended up with their heads off and puposely buried apart from the shoulders they belonged with. Seems the incoming co-Emperor (Severus' son) didn't want to share the throne, so killed off all he knew, had them beheaded and buried untraditionally, including his brother. He then proceeded to wipe his brother's existence from the record. By such ilk is history written. I won't honor him by mentioning his name.

It sucks to go short on sleep when you have pain issues; not only are you starting off the day at a deficit but unrested joints are super cranky. The whole reason we sleep is to give our bodies time to recharge. When you have bad joints it's a balancing act. Sometimes the more rest you give it the worse it gets, and sometimes it won't relieve until it gets the rest it wants. It can be hard to tell which way to go with it. And sometimes, like now, I can be in hellpain and just unable to sleep no matter what it wants. But the drugs will be gone forever and the pain will be dealt with, somehow. A lot bigger brains than mine have been thinking on it a lot longer and only came up with opiates. Quite by accident, I took my NSAID just a bit before the benadryl, and my hip (an hour later) is cooled down a bit. Hmmm. Not saying, just noticing. It's far from a miracle, and could be just the NSAID doing what it's supposed to do.

I'm wondering a lot in this- is there a better way to sit, stand, etc.? Should I be working on gettting my left leg straight, or leave it bent forward as it's going on its own? Am I making matters worse by sleeping in that position, even though it's the only comfortable way to sleep?

So far, 3 things I'm learning in pain resolution: deep breathing is a must all your waking time, and you need airways clear to rest properly; anything that aggravates you without release will come out in pain; while awake, keep moving. Even if it's only reaching or bending from your desk chair, keep moving something all the time. The more you move, the more you'll be able to move. If you pull a Camille and take to the bed, that's all your life will be. You've got to be better than your pain.

A long time ago, my hero, Wilma J. Meyers, told me to "rise above it all and circumvent it all". It's the best all-occasion advice ever.

It's 10 a.m. now and pouring a miserable rain. Explains a lot about why we have today's pain. I used to think that was a myth! Ha!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The New Reality: Pain

For a couple of days I've been meaning to address this. But so much keeps happening this February! Jesus!

Pain is back and worse than I recall it was when this all started. Of course, it's 4 years later and our illustrious health system has done nothing about the Cause for all these years. Part of that is my fault, for being shell-shocked and then drugged, and for having the audacity to live.

So where this all leads is, is to how to live with the pain. I'm dealing with it by just acknowledging it's there and ignoring it as much as possible. Anything can be gotten used to. Oh yeah, sometimes it's a damn hot furnace in my hip. Or my back, or leg, or whatever. But I don't have to let it effect anything else about me, do I?

Also, by chance, I'm moving next month and so I don't have to stretch the LIHEAP grant over 3 months now, just 2. So I turned the heat up to 68' and it feels so toasty in here that even my muscles are more relaxed. There's a huge difference between 55 and 68.

Aside from that, I'm giving my body time to adjust. There's gonna be a time really soon when The Push will be on, but it's not today. We and pain will be together forever, so I might as well get used to it. But I damn near took myself out a couple weeks back, and I'm an old bitch, so it takes a little time to heal now. The NSAID I take will just have to be enough. I'll try to stay as humored as possible, focus on goals and treat the pain as an annoyance. It's controlled my life for way too long. Pain doesn't get personhood in my queendom. I'm not losing another minute of my life to it if I can help it. But you don't get there overnight.

On the Second Try

Dunno what happened but I just put this same post I'm rewriting now, and it disappeared into the ether, never to be seen again?!

Anyhow, I was just putting this quote up that Stevil sent me yesterday that took my breath away.

"That's what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong, that decency will somehow triumph in the end."

- --Lise Hand, describing Irish journalist Veronica Guerin, who was killed as a result of her investigations of Irish organized crime.

Everyone in the world should read that quote. We need it. Magickal things are happening. Take heart.

Risking adding that the Princess just called to ask if she could leave anything at my door, since she was right downtown here. Niceness is catching. Maybe it all really is about where you put the focus.

Hey Guys Look! It's Snowing!

If my town doesn't all go nuts I'll be surprised. The Princess couldn't get into town Friday because of the snow, and we rescheduled for this morning, and it's snowing like the ice age cometh out there. Who knows if she'll make it into town, or if I'll even see her on this trip at this rate.

All the high drama has worn me out, as drama always does. That's something I notice- extreme physical exertion doesn't wear me like drama does. If I'm able to sleep, I'll be all good the next day. Not so with stressed-out body. Must be adrenaline stuck in the system, cuz even after sleep, muscles feel as if you've been lifting for hours and then sat still for a couple. But still, compared to recent weeks, I'm golden. I'm not involuntarily throwing coffee around or kicking my own leg out from under myself, so life is good. There were quite a few FX stories and things that didn't make it to this public blog. They will be going only in the book, after I go thru them all with a critical eye. Funny that even in my most insane state, I edited myself. The human animal is so equipped with self-preservation; at the moment near death the brain sifts quickly for a similar situation to save the life. Hence the "life flashing before your eyes" deal. I find that fascinating and incredibly reassuring. Was it Edison who believed there were a dozen little people in your brain with jobs to do?

I take back the lovely well-being. I think I have the stomach flu going around. That was the fastest trip to the bathroom I've made in ages, and I'm a bit proud to say that I was still about a foot away from the john when the projectile rose, and I aimed perfectly. If you have to puke up your guts, at least it should be neatly done. I am a Lady, after all. ;)

There are rumblings in the stomach... I'll be back later.

P.S. My FosterDaughter sent me this, the sweetest thing in the world:
Yes, I'm a proud Mama.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Will February Just End Already?

Spent about 2 hours on the phone with my SIL in Joisey. This single February has been the most personally brutal to everyone we know. She hasn't a clue of what's been going on and I don't care. I can't. So we yukked at the stupidity of life and a couple funny stories she had. It's enough that we settled that they will drive up if The Time Comes and I'll stay here on the other side of the mountains.

It's nice to get a break, but I'm still at an utter loss as to how to help my BFF. She's being tossed about so much, and I can do nothing. Yet. And another near & dear is so near the Poorhouse. It's so frustrating. I can barely keep the ground under myself.

Well, this will have to change.

Time Out

There is such Hell of different flavors swirling around me. Almost every single close person to me is in a serious crisis of a sort. Like sand devils just sprang up to engulf. And I'm totally powerless to do anything but witness.

Yet I feel personally blessed- I kicked the opiates and fuck them; my new apartment awaits me and it's perfect; things are going well for once in the longest time...

I wonder if this is how superiors feel among us mere mortals? ;) It's a heavy mix. Not for children. It hurts to watch suffering. Really, physically hurts, in the gut.

I just have to believe in the good; in the end it'll be brilliant and worth the suffering. The Right wins, dammit. It has to. Or there's no meaning at all to existing and that's too horrid, even in a shit world like this is.

Detoxlog some number + 5

All in all, the detox seems mostly over. It's not, of course. The leap to nothing at all, from 5 mg a day, is next week. I still can't eat normally and I'm still spending too much of the day in the lav. My BFF made banana bread and that seems to have reset my stomach, so I'm not always nauseous now. I'm sleeping pretty soundly and I'm handling the pain. But the large range of special effects- the body jerks, the wee-wahs, the panics, the puking, are gone... at least for now. One never knows.

We still await news about my brother. No news may be good news, but it's stressful and wearing. I keep sending him funny emails, anyway. I'm hundreds of miles and 2 mountain ranges away; I can't do much more. They aren't even reachable by phone. I don't know if they're downstairs in his father-in-law's home or at the hospital, or what hospital. It's always been like this with him, long as I remember. Uncountable times, since the early 70s. The banshee cry goes up, we all start preparing, days go by, and we hear nothing. And every time, we're mindful that this could be It. So you can't blow it off or get too unserious about it, either. But boy, especially between my closest brother and me, it's tough to not be cracking about it. That's how we deal. At funeral after funeral, I see Billy and me standing off to the side, him shooting one liners and me trying to not laugh out loud. Just a few minutes ago he sent me a joke. This is how we survive.

It's a sunny Saturday; the snow is done for now. It is pretty, though. The wind hasn't been up enough to knock it from the trees, and all the limbs out to the smallest, are frosted with an inch or two of blinding white. The former snows, now hard waterstone mounds on the ground, are made white again. I'm watching some poor soul struggling to shovel the steps up to the Shrine. This is the last winter I'll look out on this scene; a month from today I'll be in transit with all my worldly possessions to my new home. And a whole different life, again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Knots of Guilt

There is plenty of guilt in my family to go around. So many sons grew up without a father, generation after generation. The women were variable and few compared to the men, it's always been a ratio of 3:1 at least, all around me. All different people, those few women, from strong and stubborn as hell to institutionalized and crumbled. I believe now that everyone did their level best. But sometimes your best sucks. Some people live their whole lives at the level of their best still sucking. And so there's always plenty of guilt.

This, I've found in times of expecting death, is the overriding thing: Guilt. Sometimes mixed with regrets. And the range of expression of guilt or regret goes all over the damn place like a nest of roaches exposed to the light.

Life is so damned short. And you always think there's more time. Always. Whoever can get a grip on that, please let me know. Above my head hangs a photo of my 2 living brothers, my late mother and stepfather and me, 40 years ago at their wedding. I still remember looking at the camera in that shot. My wedding party shot shows the 4 of us looking very St Elmo's Fire in 1987, and I'm the only one still alive from that shot. It seems like a couple months ago. That's how short life is.

So be kinder to each other. It eases the inevitable guilt, too. Aside from just being the right thing to do.


This could well be the beginning of the end for my PA brother. My eldest brother, an alcoholic diabetic with stage 4 liver disease, died feet first. It's ugly, death. I've only ever seen one beautiful death, in the dozens I've lived thru. I lost count at 60..

My eldest brother Johnny slowly deteriorated over 10 days.
Seth, my "little" brother, slipped away in 2.
At least Tommy's known it was coming and has been going thru the stages of grief and amends, and we're all on pretty level ground now. As good as it'll be, I guess.

There's just waiting, now. Is it the end or just beginning?

More Snow! We're So Blessed!

I can't wait to see Mud Season. Get out the hip waders!

It's not quite a whiteout now but it was earlier. 5-8 more inches. And there was no power this morning. I was lost! No coffee, no radio, no computer? Blasphemy.

My family are holding breaths, as we aren't sure if this is the end of my brother. There have been close calls with all the deaths, so many, and then they recover...until they don't. So it may be a deathwatch or not. It's never sure til the coma sets in. His wife is a sweet woman but not superfunctional. And if he does go, I don't think I can get across the mountains to his funeral. Who the fuck knows. The more I see the less I know.

And we're back to a whiteout. I hope I can forget this February some day. It's been a February among Februaries. A real Bastardy McBastard.

And I move March 26th.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Early to Bed

It's been a helluva day. I'm torn between rejoicing for my good fortune and still my stomach sinks over 7 peep who really aren't doing well. It's times like this when good old fashioned sacrifice magick comes to mind. Not living things sacrifice, but offering up your own good fortune as a sacrifice for those you know need that energy worse. And there are so many. Could I ever be that kind of a saint? Because that's what the mystics all did- it's classic- ever read the Eddas? Or The Bible? It's all the same stories.

But there must have been people who did that- nothing that Jungian comes from nothing. The original Odin (or whatever his real name was) hung upside down and lost an eye for wisdom. Or the tale of Luminous Brow. There's one.

I'll never understand sacrifice as a tool. The universe is endless and without bounds we can comprehend. Why does humankind insist on placing boundaries everywhere, and value in perceived rarity? We only have 5 so-so senses; we barely perceive the world as it is, and is prolly why we're "the thinking animals" as they claim. We have to think because our senses suck. Ever go to a zoo and stick your head in a virtual fox's head? Better than acid. Incredible experience but there's no time to think. You're in full stim all the time.

Anyway I've gone rambing. I'm tired. These are amazing times to live thru, if we all live thru it.

Not to Break Up the Party

my brother in PA just called & doesn't sound good at all. He said his legs were blue and gray and they have him on nitro & digitalis now.
I don't know what any of this means or portents....

The Move: Overture

Holy shit I can't believe it's finally happening. After 2 years of forms and phone calls and letters and acceptances and denials, today I see the apartment. The whole production launches in T-3 hours. I've been up for over 2 hours and I can't seem to wake up. But I'm pretty much ready, and a few things won't be sorted until we're in the moment, and it'll all work out. I mean, we're going to look at a new apartment, not build one.

As for the pain and distress involved, it's the price we pay to get anything done, right? It's gonna be a story, I know. It always is. So when I get back I'll run through the whole thing, first impressions, neighbors, etc.

When we moved me in here I wasn't capable of much lifting and carrying but I was still working and walking to an extent. My inner control freak is gonna be going nuts as I sit there in The Chariot. And I'm going to owe so many so much.

Ok, time to get moving. It takes me 2 hours to get dressed and ready, and that's without interruption. Everything takes hours when you're physically screwed; it's something you get used to. Just make the time and don't have a fit...
and I'll be back....

Pause at 10:20 to re-collect myself. I'm having a fit of nerves here and excitement. I mean, giddy-inducig excitement. I'm outta here! I'll be able to go outside and hang again! Trees, fresh air! This is close to when Christine brought me the wheelchair; I could cry with relief. There really, really is an end to this shit in sight. And I'll write my book, and have a hundred dollars a month to spare, and can help other peep, finally. WTH did I do to deserve such an upgrade? I'm so overcome with gratitude right now that I can't be nervous anymore.

2:48 Just got settled down enough to blog. Called & gave my notice; I'll send it down in writing tomorrow. I love the new place. A rose bush climbed up thru the snow at my feet. It was meant.

5:03 A visit and 3 long phone calls later, I'm back. What a day. I feel like I've stepped into someone else's life. I don't have a garden apartment with a pantry; WTF is going on? Good shit? I'm not used to that!

We're all in a great leap forward, but like frogs, we're leaping at all different times. We'll all get there.

I can't believe what hope I have in the future.

People I Admire: Billy Bragg

Full confession: I never heard Billy Bragg til 1991, and then was only by passing thru our Socialist shipping clerk's office. But in March, 2004 I began a union drive at the store I worked at. There were only a handful of us, and the oddests of the employees, to boot. We never stood a chance, because on the day the union guys had come thru billeting our mailboxes, I literally ran after Mark, our then-Board President saying, "Isn't this great?" like a guileless little fool. They hired DRM, a big union-busting pro law firm, and we were finally squashed in November, 2005.

Anyway, Tim, a dj on our local radio station, played a great Sunday afternoon show called "Worker's Playtime" (after the Billy Bragg, I'd guess) and he played 2 musicians who saved my suffering soul- Elvis Costello and Billy Bragg- every week. He would take requests. Thank you Tim! And that's how I started really looking at Billy and seeing what he's done and stood for, for over 30 years in the public eye. I mean, Billy goes back to the Miner's Strikes in 84. He's been there as long as I have, bitching with his voice and guitar like Woody or any other great folk musician. I guess I was too busy being active to hear much music back then. You only get the music at the bigger events, and we don't have those around here. And when I was in NYC, my schedule was booked weeks ahead. In politics you don't get a lot of time for leisure. You just don't.

So I read up about Billy. There's a lot on Youtube; he's a huge fan and lets anyone post anything. He has a great website that I can't even describe but it's great:

And there are stories upon stories, from a local hate campaign waged against him by some right-winger to his refusal to pay taxes. And that's just the last year. The guy has brass ones. And he's a pretty low-key, straight-up sort. He's hilarious. He says what he thinks, he really cares about his country, he puts his money where his mouth is and he's a damn fine entertainer, on top of it all.

It'd be a dream of mine to have Billy Bragg over for an evening. There I've said it. Let's see if wishes come true.

Meanwhile, here's Billy a while back but always lovely;

A couple years ago:

And here's Billy last year:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Detoxlog some number + 4?

Just because I've got other things on my mind now, that doesn't mean I'm not still detoxing. Oh yes by goodness gosh.

The most irritating is the nose. It's sometimes like you have a cold, and sometimes allergic sneezing (I'm sneezing every friggin morning) and sometimes the sinuses just fill. And then empty. And your poor nose. Like it's been over a vat of simmering acid.

Instead of dancing legs in my sleep, it's an occasional hop-skippity that wakes me up.

I still can't give up the Led Zep and the most terrifying part of the move is the prospect that service won't be on as I unpack. I must have music the night I'm in there.

But I'm still awake and shuddering from the inside, thinking about getting over to the new house, and getting back, and getting packed...and on and on. I'm in much worse shape than when I moved in 4 1/2 years ago. We'll see how this goes. It's all hands on deck, that's for sure. Jesus Christ I'm moving in a detox time. I'm grateful but tired of the ironic little jokes of the universe's. I have questions when this is over.

Honestly, I'm falling back to the ancient family motto and flying by mine ass.

A Sleazy Republican? You're Shittin' Me!

This is just so typical of the scumbags in these times:

Small Rant and Public Apology

In the past 4 weeks I've put my nearest and dearest thru the wringer. I think I'm a tad bit closer to equilibrium now. There's still shit going on, but it's laughable compared to the unnecessary severe and dangerous withdrawal I put my body thru. From here it gets better, and better it will get.

At the same time, I have to say on my behalf that when I put those horns on, shit gets done. And sometimes it takes the horned helmet to do it. Which is never pleasant. I'm so very thankful for those who know me well enough to stand back and worry. Because when I get like that you won't stop me. But I also don't lie and can be reasonable. And there are those who know me so well they read between words. I just get determined when I'm fed up, and I'm never afraid to hit bottom. I've kissed gravel plenty. I should say I would most likely not even be typing without my BFF around. I got good friends. Though Gods only know why they stand by me. But they do.

So to you, my framily, I say, "I'm really sorry. But you know how I am."

Happy Things Today!

Today is Chelsy Pillsbury's 21st Birthday. Congrats on gaining your majority, you wild woman you. ;) There's a bottle of legal wine awaiting your return to your hometown. Read about her life here:

Today is the annual Homelessness Marathon on our local non-commercial radio station, streaming here:

Today's only missions are promised meatballs as payback for getting where I'm going tomorrow and washing/conditioning the hair. KISS.

Princess Wendy & I have been following the Wisconsin uprising and she sent me this fabulous song:

On Friday the Princess is coming to Bratt for the weekend, and will feast with me here and help me finish undecorating. This is a very happy thing. I'm incapable of so much at the moment.

But all in all, if a little stress and a lotta pain are all I've got to bitch about, I'm doing so well....

Totally forgot the best news- I go to view and accept the affordable housing unit I've been working for for 2 years. It's not a done deal, and there's a Herculean effort to get me there with much coordinating because handicapped transport is for medical only; so a couple of stressed civilians are working on it. 2 vehicles, wheelchair and walker in one, me in the other. This is like Special Ops. :)

And the good news just keeps coming!

16 Years Gone

On this day in 1995, I was in my NYC living room talking with my friend JP about opening a coffee shop -a store had become vacant and I'd finally left The Magickal Childe for good. JP Schneider is one of nature's finest creatures. We were making lists and talking dollars when the phone rang. It was my friend Mark, who lived up here near Ian, and he told me Ian was dead. That I was now The Young Widow Austan. I remember sinking to the floor in that crappy tenement kitchen, not believing it. Ian was strong; had just done a demanding starring role in "I Hate Hamlet". I'd only talked to him the day before. He was blaming a local restaurant for giving him agita. He was only 36; he was still vital and beautiful; we weren't done!

Why do people die in the middle of the story? It so sucks. So. Sucks enough to drive you crazy.

Anyway, all kinds of complications ensued and when we finally had the memorial I got up and gave an impassioned and from-the-gut eulogy, and quoted the song he often sang in my ear when we danced to no music, "If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you; if mountains crumble to the sea, there will stilll be you and me..."
"Thank You" by who else:

I really miss you the most. Hope you're having fun, Boobah.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tired...oh so Tired

Made it thru 14 hours but that looks like it for me tonight.
Good things are coming.
Here's a little spiritual boost:
Well, it's a spiritual sacrament in the Church of Yes....

We Interrupt This Blog....

to bring you the best new song I've heard since last year:


Solidarity, sisters and brothers.

Detox Stomach Issues

I'm pretty sure that 3+ weeks of stomach and "digestion" problems would piss anyone off, and I am anyone. Oh, the weight loss is good; that makes me happy. But because so many things are not staying with me, shall we say, my diet is really bizarre.

If I'd stayed with the all-chocolate plan bad things would have happened. So I switched to baked things with chocolate in/on 'em. Then all the sugar was making me sick and I craved beef. For a few days I ate nothing but 1/4 lb of roast beef a day and a couple slices of cheese or a bit of plain yogurt.

Yesterday I tried eating a meal- the second meal I've made and eaten this month. But alas, I only rented it, as with the first.

I'm stuck, for now, with the RB/cheese slices/yogurt diet, and supplementing it with Little Debbie Marshmallow Pies.

This is total degradation.

Detoxlog some number +3

Well well. Just when I thought it was going pretty smoothly...

The brain is a wondrous mechanism. It does regenerate, contrary to pop culture belief, but oddly and in its own damn time. It also controls pretty much everything going on in your body. So it stands to reason that when it's happily rebuilding itself it's going to ignore some things in order to get others done. What seems most ignored right now are my digestive system and ability to sleep. I'm thinking it's because I've stepped down to 10 mgs a day.

Good news- the head wee-wahs seem permanently gone. It's been 4 days since having them. Bad news- nothing, even cheese, stays in my system for more than a half-hour. And I can't sleep more than 3 hours at any time. It's a lot like when I was in the first week. Except I'm a lot more aware and conscious. I truly have little memory at all of the first week. Glad I've been blogging my heart out, because this is the record for the book. I'm going to just put it together as is for a section I'll call "The Detoxlog Days". It's a bit scary to do, to tell the truth. I'm being completely honest throughout this process, standing bald here in print, recording all. God knows how it looks to anyone not detoxing. But I can't think about that because what this is is my reality in the hardest thing I've ever done, kicking opiates after 4 years of daily use. This is harder than deaths and losing your material goods.

Things I've learned so far- masking pain doesn't work in the long term; kicking dope is Hell; the detox process is unpredictable so bone up on your zen abilities. You'll need to be able to stay in every moment as much as possible; at all risks, keep your humor close by because you sure won't make thru it without one; run to your comfort and hug it close. For me, that's music and art- for you who knows, but use it as much as you need to, whatever it is; and don't do what I did in being a fucking iron-headed Viking and going cold turkey and risking death. Get real help. I would never do that again knowing what I know now. That was brash and foolish, as most things done in a stubborn fit are. But it could've and should've been done the right way.

Enough for now. I'm going to go see how our sisters and brothers who are fighting for their freedom are doing.

Here's a bit more Billy for your daily requirement:

Monday, February 21, 2011

How It's Happening and Has Been Happening

The civil disobedience and nonviolent toppling we've been watching go on seems to have a root source. A guidebook of resistance and handbook of bringing down inhumane government by a man named Gene Sharp.
You don't need any more from me because it's all here:

Eye-Opening Wake & Ache

Oh, man...I've been in a haze for a few years. As the feeling comes back and individual muscles report for duty a little more clarity runs in the mind, too. I'm just now aware of WTF has been happening and what it's all about. It's a plan for a global unified economy. We're made to lose everything Americans have had and gained- like rights and freedoms and the middle class and unions and higher education, And our fucking tee shirts if we let them do it- to bring us down to a living standard closer to developing countries. I'm not kidding and I'm not stoned. Look at it all for what it is- we are losing shit left and right. Jobs are purposely and with our government's ASSISTANCE taken to other countries. We pay to train people to be able to take our jobs in other countries. Have been for years. Fact. The War goes on, creating a huge worrisome national debt that could cause the whole nation to actually belong to another country. And we're all one step closer to The Handmaiden's Tale. You don't think the uber rich run us all? Greed is what rules the world. Sucking all the life from us for itself. Getting its way. Bullying and buying its way into telling people what to do. Ya know why most of us aren't rich? Because we won't turn into the scumbag you have to be to get rich these days in this country. I've yet to meet one person even born rich who isn't fucked up beyond all recognition. Much less those who actually devote their every waking moment to money.

I'm not talking about those who worked and had talent and luck in this life, BTW. I'm talking about those for whom the real purpose and whole business of life is making money. Lots of money. All the money. Greed. Irredeemable, amoral ... putting the antisocial into anti-Socialism, these vampires live to take. If our "breed" can be canned into limits- only a certain level of education, only a certain path of opportunities, lots of fail-safes and mazes to be lost in (like druggage)- we are become livestock. We are become a commodity. I can foresee, at some future date, an entire nation's workforce being bartered, with the workers having no say in it at all.

Jesus H Christ, it's almost like "They Live"! Except we can't excuse this behavior as coming from aliens. And maybe understand the lizards' motivation- they're lizards, that's what they do. Nope, these aren't aliens. They're people just like you or me. But something is terribly wrong with them, and it's a terrible wrongness that's all-encompassing and consumes all in its path. It lives to justify and engender its own existence. It's cannibalism at its most refined.

There's little in place to keep it in check. Indeed; as and by its existence, nothing can.

Why have the rich been so merciful thus far, you might ask? Well, they haven't been. Ever. But here and there some really decent ones popped up in the family and changed things, or The People got fed up and ran outside yelling and raising up the others. Like what some of our brothers and sisters are doing right now in Libya and Bahrain. And I'm spending a goodly amount of time praying for everyone who is rising up these days. They are the mythical heroes of our future if all goes well.

Here's a little Billy Bragg to help that:

Just want to add here- the lifting of "third world" places shouldn't necessarily mean our life work and standards have to fall. That would only happen if the plan was to take it away from us all along.

Oh Good! It's Snowing!!

Just looked out the window- it's 3:20 a.m. now- and it's snowing like crazy. Just lovely. We can't get enough snow, ya know. Never too much. Nope.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's Why I Love Sunday Nights

There was always the drag of it being the night before The Week, but that never bothered me about it. Sundays were always good, and still are. Whether thru my school years when it was "do all the homework at once" night, thru my teens when Masterpiece Theatre moved in after Night Gallery and the sunday -was it NBC?-mystery series were dead; my wed years, of ironing our clothes for the week when the smell of Niagara accompanied operas and dramas; all the years I worked Sundays but would somehow always get home by 9; til this moment, when a remarkable Masterpiece Classic production called "Any Human Heart" is playing, a quiet Sunday night is my favorite point of the week.

Of course since the 70s, Sunday night has always been PBS night. As a typical American, I was always a member while I was a worker, a middle-class aspirant. But it's been several years since I gave them any money and now our esteemed rich shitheads of Capital Hill want to stop any funding to PBS at all. Bastards. I can only see it as yet more war on the poor. They want to push PBS into having to charge for their broadcasting, is how I see it. They also want everything having any common public good killed. This is a Soup Nazi Congress; They'll decide who gets to eat. Or in this case, who gets to see intelligent, educational and often controversial programming on lowest-tier television. In their esteemed rich shithead world, quality is bought by those who can afford it. The rest of us should shut up, watch Fox and go to Waldemort.

Well, to those of you in Congress who hold these views, I say Fuck You. Your time is almost up, so squeak like the vampires you are as the Sun rises on your bare teeth and you burn. We aren't having it. And there are so many more of us than there are you.

Ya know, it was only when I married in 1987 that I had to get cable at all. Until that time in the good old US, we just plugged the tv in, turned a knob or 2 and played around with rabbit ears or a big housetop antenna. All tv was free, and had lots of commercials. Then change came along and you couldn't get reception in NYC without cable. It wasn't very costly, and they threw in movie channels and a couple local access channels and other channels grew up on cable. Little by little, commercials started becoming more frequent. But the change was complete and we took it well for the most part- was there a choice? And now we all pay a huge amount of money to cable companies who offer a wide array of channels that are commercial-even infomercial- laden and design their broadcasts to the lowest common denominators of humankind. Do you think that was all an accident? No. It was greed and control. And now they want to end Public Broadcasting as we know it too. Well I say Fuck You.

Almost forgot: If you'd like to say fuck you to those vampires, in a nicer way, visit

Fine! Be That Way!

I got one box packed, and not very well. I just can't do it yet. A friend's been asking me for advice but I can't trust the brain to think clearly yet. Things are working again, but not dependably. I still get Lemmyhead here & there. Last night I had some really clear memories that are causing a writer friend to revise 2 whole chapters of his new book. Those random bits from my childhood filled a space he had, and connected all the web he'd been tracing. Who knows what the hell's going on with my brain- the receptor ends are trying to reset themselves and parts are defrosting... it's a process, boy.

There's little to be controlled here, so my choices are to get angry and frustrated that I can't do what needs doing, or relax and do what I can. It seems that what I can do is let my body heal, write about going through it, and see what happens. That will have to be enough. But I'm pissed that these friggin drugs are still stealing time from me, 3 weeks later. How damn long is this going to take? I really don't have time for this. Yet, I have to give it the time it wants.

My only choices are in how to deal with it all. Emotions zoom around like the Flying Monkeys. I'm a much angrier person than I ever thought I was, at least right now. My temper snaps at being frustrated. My determination, or Chi, or whatever you want to call that energy that dances around and pokes at your solar plexus, wants to get up and go, and my body and brain aren't having it. Kinda like a motor revving in idleness. And I never liked that, still don't. It's wasteful and stupid. So then I try to imagine all that energy rushing to where it will do better good in my body- to flood my brain & hurry up the healing. But with all the metaphysics I've studied, all the psych courses and all the blathering I've heard for 5 decades now, I don't have a clue if that helps. It does calm me down, and I'll do something like what I just did- grab some things to be packed together as I pass by, and then my physical limitation bears down on me with all Earth's gravity at once. So I come back to my chair and furry blanket, and type a bit more.

This is testing every bit of me. And revealing things to me about me that I never knew. I always thought I wanted a sedentary, contemplative life...and that's what I've been given, by chance. Maybe, when things have settled, I'm moved into the new place, some more time past the opiates, it'll be good. Or maybe, some miracle of Pope JP2 or Cerridwen or Thor will suddenly heal my hip and back and I'll go back to health. We can't know these things. We mere mortals exist at the whim of chance, randomness, luck, to such a degree. Our very being alive was because of an astronomical chance. And many of us spend our entireties trying to figure out how to change that to odds-in-our-favor.

When I was 14 or 15 I was scoping the occult section at the Strand Bookstore and could afford one book there- Al Manning's "Helping Yourself With White Witchcraft". Hardly a scholarly tome and a far cry from the Goetia I would read 2 years later, but I had the buck and a half plus tax to buy it so I did. From that day to this, magick, in all its forms and faces, has been in my life. It all started with a simple ritual to help myself get the odds in my favor. But it's gone so far afield from there, away from magick even involving myself at all, that it seems a long-ago personal silliness. Because magick is not for mere humans. And the road to magick does, indeed, lead away from magick. But that's another blog.

So how can we mortals stand the knowledge of existence being chance and nothing more? We create gods and forces, heroes and villains, morality and immorality... we grasp at controls and explanations because we are now programmed to. Somebody, way back, had a need for their personal sitch to be explained and we've had a god factory since. Which is not to say gods don't exist; man made refrigerators, too, and they certainly exist. But man didn't make electricity; it was just there. I hope that's enough said. I've already gotten way too heavy for this early in the day and I know I'm gonna be writing a lot today. I'll just say there are few humans who can put their hand in the socket sucessfully.

Just found a clip of ELP; the lyrics of The Gnome say a lot of things:

Detoxlog some number +2

And don't let anyone tell you that when you're weaned down to almost nothing, you won't go entirely jonesing for the almost-nothing. It adds an extra layer of hatred for the drug, a resentment of its control over you, that is a sharp fire in the mind. I don't think the human has lived that I hate more than I hate oxycodone.

Cold Morning!! Ow!! Brrrrr!!

I wake up regularly at 6 now. No matter what, I'll be open-eyed, staring at the radio, or the ceiling, or just off in space, at 6. It seems a barometer of how my head will go right there: if I try to go back to sleep & get annoyed that I can't; if I just immediately get up and start the day... those half-awake thoughts can set up my attitude for the whole day unless I intervene in my own damn crazy head, smack the ass of my inner child and tell it to shut up.

And ever since the 3 weeks ago that I made this blog a recording of kicking oxy and fentanyl, it's been a second nature to come right here as soon as coffee is in hand. This is getting to be a real habit.

So anyway, while I'm staring from bed, after dealing with the Peckinpah movie of womanhood, I realize it's really fuckin cold again. I mean, cold. There's a certain blue to a truly cold sky and it's like that, out my bedroom window. The wind was howling last night- wild whssshhhs, Robert Burns gales. The midwinter thaw is dead.

I wanted more sleep- my body is wanting it, but now my mind is fully engaged and all the things I need to do start lining up in size order - so up I get.

Jesus I have so much to do, and no energy or even interest. I had a good supply of nervous energy rushes going with all the withdrawals, but that's gone now and I'm beat. And I gots pain, fellow babies. Lots of it. Pains I forgot I'd had 'cause the opiates masked things for so long. Yes, of course, it's all mind over matter. It's always mind over matter. But my mind is saying, "Fuck you, I'm tired." at the same time it's saying, "Holy shit! Look at all you have to pack yet!" and the whole time a picture in my head of being under a mountain of blankets wants to seduce me back to bed.

But it's almost 3 hours later, I haven't even finished this post, and I just can't get my titties in a twist. If I get things done today, hooray. If not, oh well. I've been riding my own ass to kick drugs, alone, with no real med help, for over 3 solid weeks. If that's not a good enough "old college try", fuck it all. Really, fuck the world. People (the kind who know these things) have told me that what I just went and did is not only colossally dangerous but almost superhuman. It's not done. Well, it just was. But my ass is dragging from it.

And fergodsssakes of course yes I want outta this place if only for the sake of my poor suffering nose that just takes beatings from allergies to this shitstack building anytime a window's closed. And there went the 3-hour mark of being awake, and all I've accomplished is this post so far, having 1 cup of coffee, taking the nsaid & benadryl & the 1st of my 3 cursed oxy have-to takes.

I can't even work up being pissed at myself enough to make me move.
It's cold, I have my big chair and furry blanket around me.
But there's no comfort in my bones, so I'll start packing, simply because the pain won't let me be still any longer.

I'll be back later.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Detoxlog some number +1

So, though I'm down to and have been down to only 15 mg of oxy daily, and .15 mg of alpraz, Friday was the day to step everything down by 1. Well lawdy lawd lawdy it was like setting the whole shit off again. So, after a pill count, I'm altering by 3 days and will step down 1/2 a pill at a time. Who ever would think that 5 lousy stinking milligrams of some shit could make life go from standable to homicidal anger in a few short hours? With a panic attack to give it a nice sendoff!? Very nice! I'm highly resentful and indignant that after all this hell, 5 fucking mgs still hold me by the shorthairs.

Otherwise... I think it's safe to eat again. But I'm kind of afraid, a bit nauseous, and quite happy to be dropping weight. So I'll keep it at a minimum. Coffee and smoke keep me going. Though even the little I smoke now is so damned costly I feel like I'm living in a Van Gogh life these days. That has to change. I have made money before, I will do again, one way or another. Sleep is great when it's there, not when it isn't. Which it wasn't, last night. But I'll blame the full moon- the light was so spectral, with the grayish snowy night. One of those nights when it's easy to believe in other less obvious existences, let's say.

We had the no-longer January-now-February Thaw for the last 2 days, but the winds have returned and it's clear and cold. That merciless February weather, that laughs at your weakness. Out my window I see the 60' tall trees by the Shrine waving like a Parrothead audience. People are bundled and headed to their destinations today, no lingering. If this isn't bleak midwinter, I dunno what the hell is. "Snow has fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow" is about right now, not Yule. This is midwinter, folks. Snow is not a pretty, heartlifting sight now. It's ten feet tall mounds and humps of waterstone. It's the unending unuseable surface that narrows the useable areas. It's been breaking backs and shovels and spirits for weeks on end. EXCEPT. This is the Harris Hill Ski Jump Weekend, one of the first and remaining big deal amateur ski jumps. Right here, in our little town. I haven't been in years, but I love that it's still here, and can't wait to see the footage.

On the chance that I have the apartment mentioned before, this 3 day weekend is devoted to de-decorating (I waited as long as I could) what remains of Xmas and packing for the move. I really have to push my ass thru the pain to do it. The only really delicate stuff isn't going to take long; 3 days will do it. Besides, I'm a Hendrickson; we can tear down camp and load the longship in one night. :)

Remembering Henry My Henry, Cheeseman of the Heavens

After talking with Princess Wendy the other day (she's now The Cheese Snob), and it being so close to the 8th Anniversary of his passing on, I have to talk about Our Henry.

We came along in the last 8 years of his life. He was by then, Henry the Cheeseman and I loved him instantly. He was, to me, one of those people you just know and love the second you meet them, and that never goes away. Seeing Henry, at any time, started off a kind of music in my head, and life was good. I'd yell after him, "Henry, My Henry!" as we crossed paths around the aisles of the store we worked in. He was, I think, the best boss I ever had. When I first moved here I worked 6 days a week, 1 in his Cheese Dept. I just adored him. Still do. The conversations we had while cutting together, jesus all over the place, but Henry had this look that he'd give you to see if you agreed and/or got what he was saying, and damned if I could ever lie to those eyes. The adventures we had doing slightly shady but fine dealings in cheese, his driving me to the hospital, his views on history and politics. I talked to him for hours about everything under the sun, except who he was.

I never knew the man they describe there. I do know some of his children and his widow. He was this man I worked with and loved, not a Hollywood guy. At his memorial, there was a great display of his lives, because he'd lived several. I had learned a bit by that point, after his death mostly, but I was still surprised at the albums of Hollywood pix. I mean, there was Our Henry directing Elvis Presley. Unreal.

What got us all in the gut was his ever-present chef coat and captain's hat, hanging there above us, clean and empty-pocketed; his equally ubiquitous shopping basket below. Those 3 things were Henry. But he'd left them for good now. There was something both sad and peaceful about it.

I don't think I ever got to thank Greg Howe for the roses he brought me as he was leaving work that day when Henry died. I was crying too much at his sweetness. Thanks, Greg.

Anyway. Henry, you Master of Cheese and Film, Explorer and Funny Guy, I still miss the Hell out of you. You were the only man who laughed with me as my Dad had.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Waiting For the Angels of Avalon

What strange and interesting times to be alive.

In stepping back from world and even local events, I'm also seeing the tremendous spirit of humanity rising. Nobody wants a bad world, and we've been watching bad things and bad people a lot, focussed on instant and internet news. And people are saying, no, we don't want a bad world. We are not bad people, and you will not get away with being a scum to my family of fellow humans anymore just because you can. We won't allow it. None of us deserve this misery and you won't get away with doing it to my neighbor anymore while you slip me a pass. I'm taking your power away. I've never believed that any good person can be happy when someone is suffering. They've tried for4 decades to kill our good consciences and it didn't work. It's time to end the reign of Sauron. We are rising in the best of humanity's ways, for justice. For us all.

It's so heartening. To see the people of Cairo in the streets made me proud to be a human again.

Of course I'm still detoxing, but this euphoria isn't just coming from me. Friends are soaring. There is something- Plutonian, Chironic, whatever you want to label it, there is something.

I'm waiting for the eastern glow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WTH to Call It?

There's this huge sudden wave of goodness- of people getting happy news and finding love and moving ahead - of flying above it. It's all pretty wild. It hasn't felt like this since the 70s.

Or I've gone completely insane.

Oh, This Has to be Yelled!!!!

It totally, totally, looks like another friend who labored 7 years over a biography has a publisher. Holy holy holy. Go Michael!!!!!! Bull of Heaven!!!
(I'll get that safe house search going)

A Bit of All Right

Funny how those expressions stick with you, and how as you age they actually apply.

Today really is a bit of all right. I wasn't riding the Night Mare all night, actually slept 7 full hours and don't feel like I was hit by the crosstown bus this morning. WAHOOOOOOOOOOO!
I'm not going to get too carried away with optimism, but I think the evil spell is broke and things will get okay now.

And my good friend in Californicate sent me some Zep gems I think few have seen. What a perfect way to help someone you can't physically touch- send them a rare treat for the senses. Just what the dr should've ordered. Thanks! I'm not dead, Jim!

But damn that was a 2 week trip worse than that time I went to west Florida. We'll see what happens. I'm fairly certain the worst really is over. I'm almost human again.

Since I couldn't get music wired into my bedroom, I accidentally found the way to lull myself to sleep... I replayed Kashmir in my head, over and over, til I fell asleep. And when I woke up in the midnight I replayed the Battle of Evermore to the same effect.

Just got the news that I'm probably kicked off the affordable housing list because I won't live in one-room in a crappy project. Oh well. I'll just have to do better for myself, won't I? And damned if I won't. I can spit in eyes again, and I will.

Wanted to add that while the Zep addiction still holds, things have changed. I'm heading toward the happy shit:

There really is no way I can repay the debt I owe to the music and musicians that have held me together thru this.

And the day turns 180 again. The affordable housing people called and I am 2nd in line for a place right where I originally wanted. I'm gobsmacked. Thanks, Malik.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If The Stars are All Closed

Had a real old-fashioned Brooklyn bitch session with Princess Wendy, that ended up in gales of healing laughter. We both needed it.

Then back to business; I talked to my pharmacist... who said at this point, taking and not taking what I am, I should get a rec from my doc to a pain specialist. He made suggestions, but they're all meds that we tried b4 the opiates came around. More naprosyn won't help; neither will aspirin.

So I popped another xanax.

I'm hanging on. And learning a lot in this process.
Placebo effect or what, I do believe the anti-anxietal pills help bring pain down. Better than nothing, anyway.

It was a really emotional day for a lot of people, which only served to piss me off because I started off the day as a hellion and had laughed my way to some peace before everyone's feelings needed expression. And the whole time, bitch that I am right now, I'm giving no quarter to anyone. People who know me know me. I'll apologize in the future if necessary, but right now you're gonna hear exactly where I'm coming from. Don't whine when I'm like this. It won't end up well. Right now I can have little sympathy for myself and what I cannot feel for myself I can't feel for others.

Another thing- anger and funny hold hands in my Red Rover team. I'll be the angriest bitch on earth, and bust it with a loud annoying laughing fit. I truly enjoy irony. Nothing tickles me so. A lot of things crack me up- this whole sitch made me laugh til my stomach muscles hurt today.

But, If I'm angry the last thing I can handle is crying. Because to my angered, fighting eyes, you've caved in to feelings instead of getting the job done. You have to rescue yourself because nobody else can. So what's the point of crying? And when you are rescuing yourself, you're preoccupied with that objective; there's nothing else now; no caving. No weakness can be tolerated. And you know why? Because it's survival. And because my own weakness is a thin line away. But it's a thin line I don't dare cross and I don't want anyone else's weakness to pull me thru their line, either. If I'm gonna be clean, I need to stay angry. And funny. I don't want worried worst-case scenario machine msgs, or flipouts fired by some imaginative guilt creation. It won't help. So leave me alone if you ain't laughing.

I only cry at kindness and death now anyway.

Right Out There Crazy Detoxlog some number...

This whole friggin miserable deal is starting to piss me right off. Back to the nights of waking up 8 times in hot sharp pain, never really sleeping, unless I'd downed a bottle of wine...which ain't happening now, or ever again... getting up finally, emitting a stream of obscenities Maus would blush at, and making it hostilely to the Chair and Computer. Answer some emails, stare hatefully at the empty cup of coffee (when did getting a fucking cuppa become an Olympic achievement? Yesterday?)... take the white pill, take the pink pill, wait to see if anything works.

I wish I could describe well enough what it feels like when the core of your body shivers in cold while the rest of you is streaming sweat. These fucking nights will suck the will to live out of me. I have to get music to my bedside somehow. BBC Worldwide overnight only makes you want to suicide bomb when you're in this shape; and let's not talk about radio stations around here. or anywhere in the US anymore, at that hour. The safest thing I can eat right now- dairy- gives me allergic reactions. All the things the meds have masked for these 4 years are quite back in stunning Technicolor. And all these little things we ignore or take for granted become huge issues at 3 a.m. when it's too early to get up, really, but how will you sleep with these pains anyway? Silent, alone, pissed off, all goofiness gone now, just angry. So I read for a while until I just have to get off my hip or back or shoulder because who can concentrate in this where there is no comfort at all?

So you get up and try to go about your day as if you were normal. But you can't because there's all this pain ya haven't felt in years. Now I'm worrying that even the progress I'd made by doing my PT daily is gonna disappear because I truly can't bear the pain to keep doing them. For all a single Naprosyn does I might as well throw it at my head. Take an anti-anxietal? I Have. That was the pink pill. This is me supposedly chilled out, drugwise, after hours of being up and about. Not chilled at all.

So, WTF to do? I'll try to make art today. See if my hands are steadier. Listen to my friends do the radio show. Probably come back here and bitch some more. According to medical-type family and friends, I'm still detoxing. 2 FULL WEEKS LATER. Still getting this shit that filled everything, every cell in my body, processed out.

Oh, Westy, thanks for the Floyd. That's where I need to go. Music.

The Whining Viking

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who Gnu?

I just can't believe how long this is dragging out. Somewhere in the last 2 weeks I forgot some days. Which weirds me out. I mean, I blogged thru it and don't recall things at all. Apparently the "euphoria" I was going thru is a bad sign; it's withdrawal hysteria. Glad I didn't know at the time- I just thought I was happy.

The special effects are now nauseous cramping stomach, freezing chills from inside while the outside is roasting, and never getting any relief from my hip at all. Ate parts of a dinner last night and that made it ok thru the night. But the stomach's not liking food today. Not even chocolate.

And everyone keeps telling me to sleep, when my mind wants stim and distraction and my body has too much pain to sleep! Fuck. Really. Fuck.

Never, ever, take pharma opiates.

It Just Is

Today will be one of those "blog for the sake of blogging" things. I'm here, breathing. Typing, even. But any forms of higher functioning ain't happening. Whatever has caught up to whatever- there's a lot of sensation back, in body and outside. I feel every muscle, every pound I carry, every joint and attachment, and none of it's happy to be them today. So I'll take a day to let the body make its complaints and see if anything they put in the suggestion box can be used.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Real Valentines

I have a lot. Every email thru this whole shitstorm has been one. And thank you Eastern Europeans! Maybe I should've been born over there? You guys rock.

It's pretty wisening to see how the smallest bit of love can mean so incredibly much when you're feeling quite alone and so vulnerably human. Another thing I'll never take for granted.

Something tipped today- the dopesickness has changed, and it's an every hour shift. Never thought nausea could rule your life!

I'm falling back on my boys- Greg, Carl and Keith. Cam gave me an early birthday present of Greg on King Biscuit, so I'm retreating into headphones for much of the day.

Go out and spread love this Valentine's Day. Be Actively Nice.

p.s. If you've never heard The Biscuit Greg Lake versions of 'You Really Got a Hold on Me"..or "21st Century Schizoid Man".. is just-hell-epic.

A Valentine for the Big Pharmas

Ah, so here's where the dopesickness creeps in. When I was a kid, there were heroin posters in all guidance counselors' offices (I spent a lot of time in there observing those decors). Black and white, with a typical seductress/sorceress robed in black and a poem wrapped around the page... something that ended, "and you are mine forever". Well right now, if she bathed me, wrapped me in blankets, sat beside my bed and spoonfed me custard forever I wouldn't mind it. I got nothing but a few words that are elusive to grab, an all-over to-the-core sickness and a new understanding of when my junkie friends said they were sick..

Oh. People. Don't take the opiate meds. They should be reserved for the End. They do little else but take you away from yourself, anyway. The point will come when you can't get enough to get out, and that's when hell starts- you're taking these meds but the pain's no less, and your body always wants more. If you get to the place where you know you have to stop, you're gonna go thru what I am now in some form. I didn't think it would keep going on like this, really. I didn't think when I was practially begging my dr for pain relief that all this would ensue. I didn't know. but jesus I do now.

I'm also quite sure that the pharmas can do better than this for pain management; they're just too happy making bundles off our misery as is.

We get drugged for everything- being unhappy, being too happy, whatever the fuck they can construe of a new patentable formula, they'll find a need for it. But the real needs- how about the cure for cancer? where'd that rhetoric go? what about all the bajillions of bucks in research? what'd they turn out? diabetes still kills, and now some of the "new" meds for it kill you faster than the lack of pancreatic function. Where's that AIDS vaccine? Hell, the multishot vaccines that scarred our baby arms didn't even last. It's a nest of lies, proudly spouted by the pharmas so we keep depending on them to do something. And we blindly trust.

I'm a pretty strong person but this is kicking my ass up around the corner and back to the cellar door. I'll never judge anyone for going into rehab again. If you have any thought you should go, do it. Run. I really don't want anyone I love or even care the merest for to go thru what I'm in right now. There is no peace here, not for a second.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Goodnight Kiss

Cuz when we meet next it'll be Valentines' Day. It just keeps getting better.

Detoxlog 13 a note about emails now

Thank you for all the emails. In the near future I hope to be able to respond but this isn't an easy deal I'm pulling off and you'll have to pardon my lapse in timely response.

Easier as She Blows

Things are better in general. My fingers are mostly going where I aim them, I'm not wanting to burst out of my skin anywhere, not dropping everything, contemplating food without a rolling stomach reaction...still glad I have friends because without them I would've been gone long ago.

It kinda hit me as hard news to hear I'd really endangered myself going cold turkey that way. And I had guardian angels hanging around my BFF, who was monitoring me like a hawk while not freaking me out. She was the perfect person for the job.

So far, we've all made it thru and though I'm still way away from total detox, I'm jumpstarted. I attribute it to The Immigrant Song and my Norse blood. In my family we were taught to steel our minds to it, and I guess that much stuck. On we speed with threshing oars.... :)

And yes, I wrote a thank you to all the Zeps for helping me again, all these years later.


I've also just been told that the way I did it could've killed me. I got lucky. But I don't think anyone should try to detox the way I did. It was ugly and unnecessary. But it was the way I wanted to do it for myself.

oh, gu..uh......really....come on now....

A full week since the last fentanyl patch died, so I suppose I should be yipping over that. But when your fingers don't obey your fucking eyes and your hands are still shaking and sweating after several days it just pisses you off.

Woke up with big weewahhs, took 3 tries to get a cup of coffee made because of various fuckups, was already in a shit mood because I'd heard the BBC reporting at 6a.m. that Obama's losing all his juice. Fuck them. Fine. I need music, I think, and then bam! the damn hell the doc said I "should get some Imodium" for shows up! It's been a week of hell already, and now, gods, you have a giggle by throwing in convulsive diarreah the first time she's eaten a meal in 6 days. Oh thank you so much.

How goddamn long is this shit gonna linger in my system, leave and take all its circus effects with it? This is beginning to be worse than the Cymbalta withdrawal. With that shit, you were entirely fucked for 3-4 days but then got massively better and back to normal. This shit drags on and on, like a whining Dick Cheney, "But you're supposed to be a Liberal, you should be the first to give me your heart so I can keep living.." See how nuts I'm getting?

While I'm on the whining stool, the stench of hair dye will not leave my apartment. Though my hair is now the color it was when I was two.

And none of this brings up what's gone on in other areas of my life. A possible permanent tear in the family structure. Insanity is unfightable. It wears everyone out. If someone doesn't want to be welll, or function, or be happy or just secure, there's nothing you can do. I've done every idea ever thrown out to deal with this my whole life and I can't anymore.

I should probably mention that 14 years ago today was the day we closed the casket on my Mom. Ah, the 1st Death Month of the calendar year, right on time.

I say screw it all:

So that's my Sunday so far! How's yours? ;)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

After 20 Years or More

I've found myself saying, "FUCKIN BONZO, MAN!" Out loud many times today. It is headphones day, Led and maybe others later, but I'm just fine with the old sound of real musicians. Gods bless ya Bonzo.

And My Fave Quote Today

On a YT thread about Zep's Whole Lotta Love:

"The riff Jimmy busts out at 1:25 is fucking tits. You can tell Plant is completely synchronized with the rhythm too. Epic.
rossobass420 3 days ago "

This does my heart well.

Congratulations Egypt!

While I've been busily feeling sorry for myself, the peep of Egypt have won. Watching the dancing in the streets there renews my faith in the human spirit. It's a miracle.

Who knows how this will all pan out, but for now, all power to the people of Egypt. They made it happen. And right now, they're out in Tahrir Square, picking up the garbage and detritus from the last week of protests. They are amazing examples to us all.

At That Point

Every time I've quit anything, from men to potato chips to drugs, there comes That Point. It's where you've been thru several days of hell without the whatever, and all the agro doesn't seem worth it. Here, at 7:58 on Saturday morning, I drink a huge cup of coffee and await the wee-wahs going away in my head. While sneezing. Everything hurts. It was only a few days ago that things didn't hurt that much... just stick that patch on, and toss a couple pills down the throat and it's all a dull roar with a few spikes after a while...

This is when I remind myself how weird it was to feel fingerprints and the little body hairs on my arms when I started withdrawing, and realizing how much tactile sense I'd lost. In fact, a lot of senses were dulled to a butter knife. My hearing, which I'd chalked up to a family tendency to deafness, is back to pretty much normal. The palate that I have inordinate and damning pride in, isn't entirely back, but I know now that it was gone and I hadn't a clue it was. My eyes are better, slowly. No flashing chrysanthemums, no spins...even my balance is coming back, now that I know how to stand and walk without opiates masking things. I've turned out more artwork in the last week than I have done in over 2 years. As for the book, well, this is all going in it. I'm sure there will be gimps who'll want to live without the inferior "pain relief" that does little in the long run except make you an addict. This is all another chapter. Supposedly, new studies in pain have claimed that opiates only really work on cancer patients. How they figure that is a good one, since pain receptors are pain receptors and don't sit and sort out, "This is arthritis, this is MS, this is a stab wound, this is cancer." I think it's all BS being promulgated by the same people who wanted everyone on oxy, only now they've changed their minds.

But this is also when ya have to remind yourself of all the reasons you quit the shit to begin with, and what you'd be returning to if you slapped that patch on. The federal rules and regs, the assward systems, the constant treadmill. There's a doc I want and can't have unless I dump the opiates, so there was a prime motivator. And when I decided to stop and let everyone know, the outpouring of "Atta Girl!" helped tremendously. There's a lot behind that after this last week; the support and encouragement of my terrific chocolate-bearing friends, the surprising tenderness and silliness of my brother Billy- and my incredible BFF, who spent a small fortune on chocolate because for 3 or 4 days it and coffee was all that would stay down. I couldn't let them all down now, even though they'd entirely understand.

I gotta say, chocolate has incredible healing powers.

I still can't stand alone long enough to take a shower but I'm gaining a little each day. Once I'm used to this pain level I'll start my PT exercises again. Pink clouds don't come with this kind of cleaning up. You just get your pain back, all the pain that was masked by the drugs. And all ya got for it is a naproxen sodium and aspirin. At least the alprazolam the doc ordered gets me to sleep; which in itself is a huge help. For the first time last night I didn't throw the bedclothes all over the room in my sleep. But I have hope that the new doc is a different sort, and will help me formulate an herbal way to alleviate pain without pharmaceuticals.

There are many to thank for helping me get to this point (This is where some gratitude helps blow away the thoughts of picking up a patch or pill). Firstly behind my frontline people (and you all know who you are) I can hang back and know I'm covered, which is a lot these days. And then, I really couldn't have made it this far without Led Zep. Page looks just like I feel. We all rock.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What Day is it?

It's Friday, which means this is one week of having cut opiates from my daily life. I have a new appreciation for Celebrity Rehab. I recall seeing some starlet trying to kick painkillers and going, "Oh come on it's painkillers not heroin!" Well, surprise surprise, it's the same shit, the same withdraw, the same everything.

Here's the point of "is it worth it?". Aside from the weewahs in my brain, the pain increase which is amazing, and the inability to balance, I'm shaking and even typing is a challenge. This is a point I've reached in quitting everything. When the withdrawls are at peak, it sure seems tempting to grab those drugs and get relief- even for just now- but that isn't the way it works. It's all or nothing. Staying in the nothing is the right thing, but it ain't easy.

The dr gave me a tranqulizer, which is good for the panic and even a portion of pain, but won't be a permanent prescription. At least I got sleep, which is a godsend. But I'm a mess, still, and there ain't no pink cloud on the horizon.

There's only one thing to do:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Later That Same Day...

A real nurse put thru a push with the dr to get me some detox relief in the form of a tranquilizer- 8 hrs and 2 phone calls from me later. It was my email to the pharmacy that got attention, when the pharmacist called the office and said something like, "She's going cold turkey off a big amount of opiates!!".

After spending a night of twisting and crying, throwing up, throwing bedclothes, hallucinating my dead husband was holding me, and getting about 4 hours' sleep all together, I'm pretty done with cold turkey. 4 years of narcotics isn't over in 5 days.

And hooray for that nurse and my pharmacy!!!

I'm steeling my mind, but the body shakes of its own volition.

oh why bother

the dr called me back last night and offered me nothing but to scale back on the oxy I already kicked. Not even quinine to help the leg jerks.

a nurse called while i was trying to start functioning and maybe she'll be able to speak sense to the PTB. Kicking this after 4 years is really hell.

it's 11; Ive been up since five. i have resources in chocolate and Led Zep. have to keep my balance.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Favorite Quote of the Season

"I love the way this winter has honed my speech to a nearly constant stream of swearing and obscenity." Maus, Anon A

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is Exactly Why I didn't Use Much Heroin

Holy mother fentanyl is a bitch to kick. I used heroin rarely because I knew exactly where that would go. But holy crap getting off this pharmaxeutical, sans, dr's suggestions, is quite a ride. Couldn't step down, like Cymbalta, where I divided the caps in haves and quarters. No. This shit seeps into yr skin. So no scaling down. It's there, it's not.

Every resource I have is at my disposal or I wouldn't be doing this. This shit isn't fun. I like my skin to just lay there nicely. There were things I couldn't do today and thank godesss my aide showed up. I keep going in and ot of what I call LemmyHead, where I go a little away, then crash back in.

It's all there- the jerks, the sweats, the panics, the Lemmys, the smoke like a fiend and only ingest water and coffee. Maybe chocolate. No sleep- the bedcothes are all over the floor in the morning. I'm not, still, 31 years later, a puker. Though all there'd be s water, coffee, half-digested vitamins and benadryl. Maybe a naprosyn bit.

Thank you forever, John Lennon, for Cold Turkey, Led Zep for Stairway and Kashmir. And ELP for everything, every breath. Times like these you know who your musicians are.

In the midst of it all, the birthday plans are in order, he can't read this tonight so all carries forward.

Life Minus Art is Insanity

Monday, February 7, 2011

Never Underestimate Chocolate

I mean that. It can turn a day around. I don't care what chocolate, just chocolate. Except for 3 Musketeers now- they have like a whiff of chocolate sprayed over them.


Free Eargasms!

If you never checked out Wolfgang's Vault, you must must must. There are things in there you won't believe. And it's LOTSA pre- MTV era, so most of it's audio only -HALLELUJAH!

Really, Gary Moore? Come On!

Was that necessary? I suppose it was, but come on. In this last year so many people have died, again, and now Gary Moore? I guess this is a warm up. I'm just sick- and scared- of losing people. The last great exodus was all before September 11th. There will be so many dreams never coming true now.

Well, Gary, ya did a good job well done while you were here. You will be oh so sorely missed.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Detoxlog 5

I've got a good system going with detox. There's enough good stuff- chocolates, flowers, good food, to make it easier. There are also things I won't write about. But it's all better than trying to go cold all at once. Lots of Led Zep, or whatever band is Godlike to you, or once was; use headphones. Air musicianship is encouraged; use caution in limbs that aren't 100%.

Don't make more of the symptoms than they are, but if things get hairy, reach out immediately.

Also, ya really have to have friends and it's good if at this time they show up. Which my friends have. I get by with a little help from my friends.

With some luck, in a few weeks I'll have a new strategy and even more to keep writing about in the book of no end.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Detoxlog 4

Ergonomics have become important, so am shifting things to better use. It's like I'm reliving my teens in a way; but in a better way than the original. I'm smarter now. Suddenly I'm getting creative again. The girls came over last evening, and we had a truly good time, one that we needed. L has made a center for herself in her house where she can do a lot of things in one space. Great idea, which I hope to have in my new abode. And Nancy laughed like I haven't seen her laugh in ages. It was a good decompression from the weeks that have been lately, and a decent way to salute Bride.

The flowers L brought are beautiful. Stevil brought me chocolates (a necessity right now). We ate good food and dove on the articoke dip like a pack of wolves with rice crackers at hand. K came by but it was an early winter night.

This morning I had Nancy's apple crumble for breakfast with a bit o cheddar. Very nice treat on another dark rotten endless winter morning in New England.

And so the detox goes on. This one's much better and easier than the Cymbalta detox. And simple things help.

Like Robert Plant c. 1973-75.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Detoxlog 3

Sleep, glorious sleep! And thank gods too, because today has been one of those days already. But- no dancing legs, no wigglyness, no heebies from withdrawal. The appetite's back, I'm not off-balance and St. Stevil brought me chocolate! So, today's turning around to be pretty good after all. It's 1 p.m., my aide's running around doing things, and later on the girls are coming over. Hope I have the stamina.

Oh, and the dr's nurse called; my new Medicare script insurance won't cover Fentanyl, they want me to come in. Haha. I'm going to confer on how to break it to them that I'm quitting opiates and won't be requiring their services anymore...

A second nurse called, the nice one, Sharon. Well, broke it to them that I'm leaving the world of opiates, and that I won't be able to get out of the house now until the spring. Lob that ball back in their court. The nurse said there are drugs to ease the effects, but hell, I'm already half done and of course the doc's no place to be found on a Friday, so...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

DetoxLog 2

A whole night of dancing legs and nearly impossible to type correctly. To avoid panic, I'll keep it short: this sucks & I just want to sleep and can't.

After 4 hours, I cave in, putting on a fentanyl patch. I was rubber room bound. K told me to stick out my tongue and it shows I'm freaking. Which was pretty fucking obvious, because of the things happpening- the loss of balance and sleep, the heart beating all over, the feeling of withdrawal from all your

2 hrs. later ..OK the fentanyl's soothing things down a bit. Maybe I'll be able to sleep. I still can't eat. It's 4:19 but fells like 8 or 9. The ugly basilisk reared its head- what if, by quitting to fight for those who can't fight, I'm made a symbol of how everyone should be quiting? Then it looks like I'm just justifying their use when I don't like it, myself. But isn't that what it's about? Is it "Quit if you Want, But you should Get it if you need it" no, that's a bad slogan...oh, it's hard to be clear-headed when you're coming off narcotics. The idea is rising like dough in my head. Maybe if I get some sleep!!

3 hours later. Moved on to Pink Floyd. Though my neighbors don't deserve it I'm sparing them. The only way they can hear Comfortably Numb would be thru the soles of my feets' vibrations. There are many things that comfort without side effects. Crosses my mind I might out live all these guys...I don't want to. I won't be a loss to them, but their deaths would take large swaths of my life with them... and I've already too many stories and no one to remember them with. We don't get to live healthy long enough.

1 hour later. Pink Floyd's the way to go. This is def another of those things that's so damn individualized that you can't give any help but say ,"Do what helps." Isn't that great? Totally unhelpful. It's like people don't even remember who they always were., what they always loved- the things that defined them... But I think it's the tools for getting thru shit. I know music is for me. The worse things are, the more music I'll have going.
Here is a full 24-minute Floyd section (Roger's a bit pitchy at the start) from Live8. Remember that?

RIP Syd and Rick.

Detoxing is a bitch on your own.

Going on 9. Can't really carry on a conversation; I'm too rattled. Well, will stay up and listen to some more comfort bands and try to relax.

9:30 Just watched this enlightening and entertaining bit of an interview with a young Plant and Bonzo.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DeTox Log

I'm thinking I'll be observing a lot on here, so skip thru titles if these things bore you.

Nutritional advice: chocolate and dairy helps a lot. Ginger snaps, too. Eat like a kid. pb & j. Drink milk. Beef is good, too, for those who eat less abnormally. Don't do anything but lie around and indulge yourself with the things you love. That is how we love ourselves; we give ourselves the things that feed our heart and spirit. For me that's some bands. Chocolate. Coffee... yeah, things that remind you of why life is so damned good, which we've somehow forgotten.

So yeah, drying out can rock.

Update a couple hours later: It seems I'm PMSing at this time. Since the oxy's kicked I'll leave it. Am deciding to slap on a new fenatanyl or not, or just boil pennyroyal.
Chocolate is all gone.

2 hours later: Made a coffee-sweet undairy drink. Still scoping Zep. I'm boiling some sage to help the sinuses balance. No appetite, just sweet thirst. Fentanyl still eeping its last above my heart. Mellatonin keeping me from vibrating outta my skin. How the hell will i sleep?

2 hours later: am on ELP kick which will be followed by some research on pirates, how they cut out the middle man, how we viewed the coop union drive as a pirate venture, all or some of which may be put on here as a way to kill time and ignore withdrawal.
Oh here's ELP posted by my friend paperpichu:

1 hr later. Some sources say fentanyl takes 5 days to clear. Oh joy. Even Greg Lake can't distract me that much. Or Robert Plant!

45 minutes later. OK, left some blistering comments and bested someone on YT. Now what to do? Too sore to drum....hmmm

30 minutes later. responded to some cool emails. I have cool peep. Am hearing Stairway to Heaven for 27th time. It's still good. And am singing it all onward from, "Babay, baby, give it to me..." Have to find Immigrant's Song. Ah yes, turn the headphones up to 80.

50 minutes later. Friend has advised to stop listening to Robert Plant but I can't right now. There's something that has to be burned off. Hard to explain.

9 p.m. I'm listening to the last bars of Kashmir and will go try to read myself to sleep. Not bad for detox. I can deal.

Take That, February!

Right now I'm in the midst of cold turkey quitting opiates. The oxy must be outta my system; it's been 4 days. The fentanyl should be waning. I've got the dancing legs at night again.

Whatever, I found a Led Zep clip that screamed SEX and got my attention. It's Robert Plant at his Godly Prime, with necessary time given to his tight jeans:

I sent this around to several ladies of my circle; it has made the 2 I thought most likely to, sit up and take notice.

For best effect, put on tight jeans, wear headphones and turn it up!!!

Take that February, and the horse you rode in on, too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Appreciation for Old Kindnesses

Amid the thread of deaths that have happened lately, and I've only mentioned 2, has been a trailing ribbon of gratitude reminders.

I googled a guy who was the everyday part of my life for 4 years and found he's a dispicable mess at our age. Another torch extinguished. And glad I didn't end up with that.

I thought of Robert, who bought me a ticket home when my mom was dying so I got to see her once more.

I thought of Carole, who got me a grant to pay my electricity last summer.

And Billy, who subsidized the rest.

And so much else, a million kindnesses. Those are the kindnesses I use to keep on believing in the essential goodness of humans.

The Best Parts of Disability #1

Some would disagree; some haven't found their way there yet. But being alone, with few resources, brings you back to places you've been in your life and survived.

For me, it brought back how much I used music as a coping tool. If I didn't play music (and thank god/desses for the intertubes because it's all out there) for several hours a day, to fit my mood, I'd be in a much worse place.

Besides, lots of John Bonham and Carl Palmer are what I need if I'm gonna carry out my mission.

Not Since M*A*S*H

My one soap opera addiction, Coronation Street, is running a storyline about a vet who's just come back and going thru PTSD. His best friend had saved him, and died in the attempt. Not Since MASH have I seen war so straightforwardly looked at in "entertainment". Bravo to the writers and ITV for this. The US could take a clue.
The US continues to glorify this undeclared war:

The UK shows the result.