The Thanksgiving Curse

I’m beginning to think Thanksgiving is a cursed holiday for my family.  The earliest Thanksgivings I remember were great, sure.  Snow, sledding, learning to cook the meal.  The tradition passing down from my mother to my sister and me.

And I remember the first Thanksgiving it all went wrong.  Just, everything, went wrong.  My sister was back home without her husband, it was the first Thanksgiving without her boyfriend- turned- fiance- turned-husband around in a long time.  Wow, since High School for me I think.  And I was in College now.

I just remember no one was happy.  My sister was sleeping against the wall of our eat in kitchen, occasionally waking up to eat before slumping back down again.  My mother had enough at this point.  She cooked all day, really hard, and no one was eating her food and she pointed to my sister and said, “and you won’t even wake up.”  

And yeah, she didn’t.  So my mom went to vent her frustrations outside and I ran after her.  My mother demanded a cigarette out of me.  I had never seen her smoke, but I knew she did before she had kids.  Out of shock, or just dumbed silence, I gave one to her, with a light.  And we smoked.

And that was the Thanksgiving that started our curse.  Where it picked up.  Every year after that, Thanksgiving is one of the worst holidays our family has suffered through time and time again.  The year after the Thanksgiving I just described we had invited friends over.  It was kind of fun, and most definitely awkward as my sister had holed herself up in the basement and refused to even greet them, more or less partake in festivities, cooking, and dinner.


Each Thanksgiving followed one from the next.  Some small inconveniences to major catastrophes always  kept Thanksgiving lively for us.  There was one year when our oven only cooked ½ the turkey.  No, literally, one side of the oven had stopped working and our turkey, therefore, sort of melded between completely done to still defrosting.  But, that was better than when the entire oven caught on fire so I guess one can’t be too picky.  Illnesses sometimes cancelled the Thanksgiving holiday, or a death of a pet.

I’m beginning to see a pattern here.  Maybe a curse? I’m Italian, was one of my original ancestors somehow involved in the “first” Thanksgiving? I mean, the real thing, not the happy one they taught us in school.  Perhaps it picks up when adulthood hits, as, no one wants to punish children, right?  Some kind of Karma from the sins of the… Eh, just something I think about.  There certainly is a pattern I see, but probably reading way too much into.  

But, I have come to determine, this year, we have a cursed holiday.  So let’s rejoice in our curse, celebrate the holiday we know will fall apart, and laugh as we make memories.  And let this be a start to the tally of many Thanksgivings down the line, to watch the curse continue through the family. This is the start, the realization.  The documentation starts here.

I mean, everything stays on the internet and can be updated, right?

Thanksgiving 2016: Maggie dies on the eve of Thanksgiving.  The family has moved so has no money to celebrate.  The parents and one child stay in their new house, the other child is in her apartment, all mourning the loss of their beloved dog.  This is the second thanksgiving they didn’t celebrate together as a family.

Thanksgiving 2017: Not bad. Does a realization of a curse and calling it out somehow disipate power? So much my yearly documentation for generations. Maybe that’s the curse: haha, we decided to make you think you are crazy. So, with the typical “no shit” family quibbles, and the forgotten vanilla ice cream for our pie, all seems ok. We did have the defective turkey, as though the legs were prebroken tied only to the bird by the raw skin, and our accidental forgetting to remove the bacon, it still cooked and tasted fine. I hope it’s not extra for next year. Premptively, I see it as a good holiday. But extra fear for next year. We’ll try to be positive.

Hollywood has Taken the White House

How did Hillary Clinton lose to a Reality TV Personality for President of the United States?

It’s a question I see on every TV station I turn on.  How did she lose? What went wrong? And I’m sure all the political pundits and polls can show us exactly where and when and every media outlet will pick apart her campaign.  But the truth is, Hillary lost because no one ever wanted her to be nominated to begin with! So how do you win with a candidate that people told you, over and over again, that they didn’t want?

First of all, she tried to run already as the nominee, and lost to President Obama.  One might think that would be enough.  One might think that the people had stated their mind.  She had her chance, she was a great contender, but the people wanted one over the other and that was that.  She took her position as Secretary of State and would presumably go on into political history, much like what happens historically with other candidates that run and fail in the primaries.  

Except that didn’t happen.  

And here is where I, and most other Democrats, see the problem in the campaign.  Not the e-mail scandals (though, let’s face it, we have impeached presidents for much less), not because of her reputation in the White House or even the suspicious activity in her charity.  

She was promised to run in 2016.  And most of us Democrats agree that she was most likely guaranteed the nomination.  Now, of course, one could view this as simply a conspiracy theory, and frankly, it is.  But, it has merit.  Hear me out.

I’m sure everyone knows of Bill Clinton’s reputation in the White House, and some of us older voters even remember watching Bill Clinton publicly announce on television that he cheated on his wife, and lied about it.  And don’t tell me the thought did not cross your mind, as you watched Hillary stand by her husband and be supportive, that the support did not come with a price, or a promise, from the party.  Let’s face it, he was impeached, the first president to be so.  If she did not stay with him, he would have been thrown out of the White House before his term was over.  And even though the Republicans won the next election anyway, to have him step out of the White House would have been a gift to the Republican party.

It takes time to build a campaign of course, and, the fated first run came and went.  I don’t think she expected to lose to Obama, but as Obama gained in the primary polls, I remember the news stories.  I remember her conceding and giving her support to him.  I remember whoever the political names on CNN at that time were stating that she will accept the Secretary of State position, and run again in 2016.  I remember that.  Promised and slated.  She will run again.

Now, we can’t have her run against nobody in the primaries.  That would look strange, of course.  And would be perfect fodder for Republicans to use, a woman who is running only because she is promised, not because of the people.  So, who do they put against her that they figure is a guaranteed loss? As we go further and further broke as a country, the ever popular Libertarian ideals growing, and the already tense situation with Russia? A socialist seemed like a great idea to ensure Hillary’s nomination to the Democratic party.

And here is my conspiracy theory.  The people spoke, and the people wanted Sanders.  The democrats WANTED the Socialist,  and that wasn’t supposed to happen.  But here you have a woman who was promised the nomination twice.  And twice the nomination rejected? Yeah, I believe some underhanded dealing went down, and the primary was rigged in her favor, and Sanders was forced to step down.

Quite frankly, most Democratic voters I knew didn’t like Hillary all through the campaign.  I am a Democrat, and I did not want to vote for Hillary.  I did not wear the “I voted” sticker.  I was ashamed.  I was ashamed because I really believe that Hillary did not belong there to begin with.  That many underhanded dealings went behind that nomination.  And when people ask me who I voted for, I say I didn’t vote for a person, I voted for the party I agree with more.  Because quite frankly I think a reality TV personality and real estate mogul is the most laughable resume to have when applying to run a country.  But he won.  And he won because the Democrats refused to listen to what the public wanted.

The problem with Hillary’s campaign was Hillary.  We didn’t want her.  Not the first time, and not the second.  And because of some promise and underhanded dealings, Hollywood has taken over our presidency.  You know, Kim Kardashian once said she was the American equivalent of royalty.  And most of us laughed at how self delusional she was.  Who’s laughing now?

The American Dream

I was recently hanging around with some friends of mine, and we got on the topic of families. We were talking about our status in life, how we got where we are. Him, being a first generation of Chinese Immigrants, me being second generation, totally Americanized. We talked about politics, jobs, and somehow, as I stated, our families.

Inadvertently, I brought up my cousin. I say that because as he was talking about how his family became who they were in this country, the story reminded me so much of him. Not that my cousin immigrated here, but, just how in this country one can start with humble beginnings and become something great. As I reflected on the conversation I had with my friend, I remembered how much I admired my cousin, even growing up.

My cousin does not know I’m writing this, so obviously out of respect for his private life, I will leave some stuff out. I am also going to give him the random name of “Jim,” again, for his private life and his unknowingly becoming a subject of a blog. Also, typing “my cousin” over and over again not only will annoy me, but I am sure you, the reader, as well. Jim is significantly older than me, so I did have the opportunity to see him as an inspirational adult figure, and have much respect for how he got where he is. Even the friend I mentioned above, had great respect for a man who could come from so little, and gain so much.

I don’t know much about Jim as a very young child, as, I wasn’t born. I can’t comment too much on his socioeconomic status growing up either. He went to public school in New York City, lived somewhere in the 70s in Manhattan during the 1980s. I wouldn’t say he was poor, but from my understanding from my mother, money was tight. Then again, when isn’t it?

I wish I could say I remember Jim when he was a teen, but, for the most part, it seems all my memories are of him as an adult. Perhaps it was because I was so young, and me being so small that even a young, teenage Jim would tower above me much like the rest of the tree like people looking down.

But, I remember always loving Jim. Something in the way he perused what he wanted to do, an independent spirit, like my grandfather. Every year I saw him he was involved in a new interest or hobby, and good at it too. One year he charmed me with magic tricks, speaking of becoming a magician. The next year he wasn’t a magician anymore, but found a new passion. He kept going and going and following wherever his dreams took him. Eventually that spirit took him to computers, networking, coding, website design, and a bunch of technical words and terms that I don’t understand.

I get it, I get it. This is titled “The American Dream” and I’m talking about my cousin. I guess the point is, my cousin reminds me of what I actually love so much about this country. Here, a man from a modest beginning, dropping out of HS to follow where his heart leads him, and becoming one of the most successful people I know.

Oh, wait. I didn’t mention that? The man who followed his dreams and heart became so successful that he has a mansion in an exclusive neighborhood in New York state and married a beautiful woman who, for all intensive purposes, can trace her heritage to Romanian Royalty?

THAT, my friends, is America. That is what I told my friend, whose parents saw that when they came here. When people ask me what the “American dream” is, I bring up my cousin. Because, none of that is exaggerated. I love my cousin, and I love my country. It is why my grandparents immigrated here, and it is the dream. And if anyone doesn’t know what it means to live in America, just tell them this is the only country where you can grow up in a blue collar neighborhood, drop out of high school, follow your dreams, find your passion, become wealthy, and marry royalty.

Everyone’s American dream is different, everyone’s story is written differently. There is a lot going on in the political infrastructure of America right now that makes me unsure of where my country is going. It may have always been this way. I just want to say right now, no matter where you stand, left or right, pro or con, black or white, religion or not…

This is a great country. We have great opportunity. Let’s not forget what we are all about.


Am I the only one who doesn’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions? I just think it is such an exciting time, and we are so full of hope, we often, in the moment, commit to changes we aren’t really ready to make. Two weeks later, we realize our lofty goals, and then sometimes just give up entirely. The motivation we felt when everything was fresh, exciting, and in the moment with friends is gone, and reality sets in.

Some one once told me of this old Celtic ritual, the Shamanic Fire Ceremony. According to her, this ceremony was often done in Spring, after the harsh winter when life was born and beginning a new. Makes sense, as the Celtics didn’t follow our modern calendar creations.  Their passing of time and years centered around the harvests.  Spring indicating that the old is dead and gone, and life is starting once again. For them, it was a new year, time to replant, re-spawn, and whatever else they wanted to do. The fire ceremony was often done during the May Day festivals.

Our modern calendar is not so much correlated around the solstices as they were in the days of antiquity. So, I incorporated the Shamanic Fire Ceremony as my New Years tradition.  For us modern folks, January 1, is the New Year, not the start of spring.

Anyway, it’s quite simple. I write down, draw, or create/find representations of the things I want to let go of in the New Year. They can be people, habits, beliefs, anything. Anything I don’t want to hang onto and plague my fresh start. Anything I want to let go of and change.

And one by one, I toss them in a fire, let them burn, release them out of my head, body, spirit, and into the world, into the ashes, to burn away and forever end. I think this is a better way to end the old year, and start the new one. Clean, fresh, and ready. Not demanding expectations we may not keep, or are not even remotely ready to commit to, but rather letting go of the things we want to be rid of. Getting ready to face the experiences of the new year by shedding and destroying the old skin.

Maybe next year you should try it too. It’s very liberating, and you don’t need a big pit. Heck, I do it with a candle over a bowl (just make sure you do have water handy) next to an open window, in my sink. You can do it before, or after the stroke of midnight, alone or with people. You can add a religious element to it, or you don’t. The ritual is entirely up to you, and it’s something everyone can do.

I recommend maybe next year trying this. Sure, you can still make your resolutions. Maybe add this to your ritual, or maybe make it your only ritual. It’s your choice.

As for me, I’m happy a new year has started, and look forward to all it brings.  I’ve shed what I hope to get rid of, and start off fresh faced.

The Stages of Drivers

0-1 years old

What are you doing? What is this? I was sleeping, in my crib, and now you dolled me all up in this… stuff… and.

What is that? It’s a seat.  You got me out of my bed and changed all my clothes to put me back in a seat? WITH BUCKLES?

Where are we going? This isn’t my house.  Where are you putting me? Great, more buckles? And what am I looking at? A seat? Another seat? Some gray blob? Great.  And a big noise, what was that big noise? Wahhhh… big scary noise and I can’t see mommy.

Wait, are we moving? I can’t SEE anything!!

WAAHHH.  This is awful.  The movement is making my chair rock.  It feels so rhythmical.  And it’s boring looking at this overstuffed chair, from my own chair.  Tied into my own chair, so… safe… and……. warm….. and…. rocking…. and……zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

2-4 years old

Oh, I get to sit in the car!! The car!! A ride!! Weee!!! I get to go to the store with mommy.  I love going to the store with mommy.  All my toys, maybe I can throw them at mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy get off the phone, I’m trying to play with you!! I will just… Oh mommythatdogisbrowndidyouknowsomedogsarebrownjohnninclasssaidtheteacherhasabrowndogjohnisfunnydidyouwanttohearasecrettheteachersaid…………..

5-10 years old

NO! I’m a big kid now! I WILL NOT SIT IN THAT BOOSTER SEAT.  If you try, I will make your life hell!! NO.

Mommy, I have to pee.  I know you said to go before we left, but I have to pee NNNOOOOWWWWW.

Mommy, I’m thirsty.

Are we there yet?

Mommy, I’m hungry.

Mommy, Baby Hippo is thirsty.  And she has to pee.

Are we there yet?

Mommy, Chris is touching me.  Make Chris not touch me.  MOMMY, HE’S LOOKING AT ME!! He wont’ stay on his side.  Make him STTTOOOOOPPPPP.

Oh, a toy store.  Mommy, can we go to the store? Mommy, why are you going soooo sllllooooooooowwwww. Are we there yet?

What does that sign mean? What is that lady doing? Are we there yet?

I’m bored.  Are we there yet? Let’s sing a song.  Are we there yet? I’m bored.

11-13 years old

I want to sit up front!! Why does Chris always get to sit up front?? I don’t care that he is older, why does he get to sit up front? Ugh, this is so unfair!

Turn on the radio.  No, I don’t like this song.  Not this song either.  Moooommmm, I don’t care that you like this song, I like this song.  NOOOOO CHRIS.  MOM, tell Chris he has to share the radio.

Can you turn it up? PLEASE MOM, just a LITTLE LOUDER?

Dad lets me play it as loud as I want.  And he lets me sit up front!!! Why can’t I sit up front, I’m not a baby, I want to sit up front!

13-16 years old

Sit in front? Then some one might SEE me with you!! I don’t want people to think we are on speaking terms.  It’s not cool mom.  But, you can drive us to the mall on Saturday?  And we have a game on Sunday and you are taking me Chrissy and Jenny.  But first we need to go to Jenny’s aunt’s house cause she has her cleats or whatever.  Okay?

No, I am not sitting in front, this car is embarrassing.  You know, just drop me off a block away from the school so people don’t know I’m related to you, or would come out of something as horrible as THIS car.

16-18 years old

I GOT MY LICENCE!! Mom, you don’t need to take me anywhere anymore.  You just need to get me a car!! Oh, let me tell all my friends and we can go out and pick them up.

Yes mom, I”M driving.  No one else is driving your precious car mom, I promise.  Only me.  But I need to borrow it again tomorrow night.

But I don’t like my car, you’ve got the better car!

VRRROOOOOOOMMMM.  Come on teachers, there was traffic or what not.  Dunkin Donuts cup? Well, yeah, I went for coffee.  Cause that’s what we do in the morning, we are adults.  I have proof, I have a licence.

VRRROOOOOOMMMM.  OMG this person is going so slow!!! Come on!! <BEEEP> Is that Tom? Tom is so cute.  Let me wave to him.

OMG old lady.  MOVE IT <BEEP>

No one can tell me to turn the radio down anymore.  I can listen to it as loud as I want.  Everyone wants to listen.


Is this person seriously doing the speed limit?? Speed limit is for pussies.  MOVE IT <beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep>

Stupid cops.  Don’t like me cause I’m a teen.  Always pulling me over for nothing.



I have the right of way.  What are you doing, are you BLIND? Seriously, what an asshole!

Did you just cut me off.  Well, fine, I’ll cut you off, see how you like it.



Jeez, OLD LADY.  MOVE IT.  Can’t even see over your effing mirror.  People shouldn’t be allowed to drive. AT LEAST PULL OVER AND LET US PASS.  For chrissake DO THE SPEED LIMIT. AT LEAST DO THE SPEED LIMIT.

God… another ticket???  WTF!!! I had to go to class!!! They need to make parking so we can get to class.  God, thank god for that party tonight.  I need some relaxing.

“Yeha I cn drive.  Just a lit-tl buzzie.  I good drunk drive swear to drunk.”

Ohhhh… I’ve never seen the backseat from this position before……


Okay.  My little snuggins all in tight? Here we go.

Why are you crying? Stop crying!!! OMG, please stop crying. I’m not having anymore kids.  No, can’t do this.

What is with that maniac on the road? Don’t these kids know people have KIDS in the car.

Well, Johnny, leave your sister alone! I know she’s crying, but poking her won’t help.  No, you can’t go to the bathroom.  You just went to the bathroom! We are NOT stopping at McDonalds.


Ugh.  Traffic.  Why is my whole day nothing but sitting in traffic.  And what is this crap on the radio? OMG, don’t they play anything good anymore?

Keep that up back there and I will turn this car around and we will go home.  So help me…

No, we aren’t there yet.  Stop asking.

John, stop touching your sister.

Turn that radio down.  I can’t think with that crap blaring at me.


Do I look like your damned chauffeur? Get in the car.  IN THE FRONT! I am not driving you around in the backseat.

No, my car is fine, you don’t need to get out a mile away from the school.  God, you’re so dramatic.  And I’m your mother, not your chauffeur, and you can sit in here and have a decent conversation with…. WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT TURNING UP THAT RADIO.

OMG, these kids drive so crazy.  What is the hurry?


No, you can’t borrow my car.  You have a car.  I don’t care if it doesn’t go fast and the radio doesn’t work.  What do you need the radio for? You need to DRIVE not listen to that… JUNK.

Come on, get out of the left lane.  I have to get to work.  BEEP.  Oh my god, why is this guy just pumping music next to me? Does he really think we ALL need to hear his crappy song?

That guy just cut me off.  Why did he cut me off? And why is he giving me the finger?


Oh God, this grandma can’t be driving can she? I’m stuck behind her.  Great.  She can’t even walk.  I watched her NOT walk to her car.  She can’t see over the wheel.  These people shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

Jeeze, have these kids ever heard of a speed limit? Why are you wizzing by me at 40? It’s 25.  Where is a cop when you need one?

Oh, my favorite morning talk show is on.  I like this nice leisurely drive to work.  Come on buddy, I know it’s the right lane, but seriously, 65.  <sigh> Fine.  I’ll pass you.  You gave me no choice.


Oh, the highway is just too fast for me.  I like the streets.  I get too nervous driving at such high speeds.

Oh, I have to take the highway.  I’ll just stay to the right and do what is comfortable for me.  Okay, we are approaching.  Oh, let me just stop and wait for traffic to go by before I merge.

Oh, I hate driving at night.  I just can’t see as well.  Oh, this darn guy behind me.  What’s the rush, I can’t see!! Flashing and beeping don’t help.  Pass me.

Good.  I think I got his plates.  “Hello, police.”


Driving is my privilege, and no one can take it from me.  Why is this kid on my butt? What is the rush? 35 is the MAXIMUM you can go.  Some of us just don’t like to go that fast and you will have to wait.

Oh, my favorite commentator from NPR.  I love this guy! You get ’em.

Why is that young jerk giving me the finger? 35 year old boy thinks he’s a somebody.  Some big shot in a rush.  Should know better.  And look, he has kids in the car.  Shouldn’t let these idiots on the highway.  Fine, I’ll move over a lane.  Happy?

WOW.  Look at that little kid go.  Shouldn’t give out licences until you are at least 25.   I DON’T CARE THAT THE SPEED LIMIT IS 35.  I can barely see the signs! Should make them bigger.  Doesn’t give that young kid.. kid I tell you.  A teen! The right to pass me like that.  I’m doing 20! That’s fast enough.  Back in my day…

Odd Answers to Government Surveys

I kind of like the company I work for.  It’s perfect for a person doing what I need to do.  Boring, tedious, but they make it fun.  I do government surveys: health, political, or sometimes for a college or other non-profit.

So, while these survey’s are on telephones (and most people hang up on me), I’m not telemarketing.  I’m doing work for legit. causes.   Things that will possibly make this place better.  SO FILL IT OUT PEOPLE, THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! (You’d be surprised at how many people curse me out).

I love doing political surveys (we don’t call within our state, because we may bias the survey, so we have no stake in the issue).  They give me a good, overall, mindset of people.  Plus, of all the survey’s we do, those are the ones that allow us to have a say in their government.

And I get hung up more on by those, then anybody.  And then I hear complaints, “Well, if anyone ever asked me, I would tell them to do this….”  Well, we are calling, and you are hanging up on us.

Anyway, the high folks give the funniest answers.  Usually, they give the answer to the question you asked 4 questions ago, not to the question you are on now.  The drunks just talk.  Talk and talk.  And you have to guide them back to the survey, as much as you want to hear all about how much the question reminds them of some story as to why they think that way.

But hey, they are answering the questions, (and thus, influencing politics) and I am really patient.

Then…. the weirdos….

I divide this into three kinds.

1- The perverted:

Somehow they confuse a government survey with a sex line or dating service.

2- The “Oh my god I can’t believe s/he just said that” guy/girl:

These people have answers that are so out there, (for those of you that get this reference: Think “Deliverance”), they are either messing with you, or you really wonder if Deliverance still exists.

3- HUH?

More on these in a minute.

So, the perverted.  That needs no examples.  You can imagine them on your own.

So, the guy I chose to represent the (2) “Did s/he just say that????” category comes to us from a state I won’t reveal, on a subject and reason I will not share with you.

On a topic about education, I person told told me s/he thought one of the problems wrong with schools was, “the fact we don’t beat the kids enough.” Because, sure, nothing fixes a problem by just beating everybody into making it better.  😕

Amazingly, I’m able to keep a calm tone.  I record their answers as they say them.  Because, s/he’s the only one that hasn’t hung up on me in two hours, and s/he’s taking the survey.  It’s his/her right, and your’s.  And… yet YOU have probably just yelled at me and hung up.

Anyway, I record their answers, as they give them, whether I think they are wrong or just stupid, I put it down w/o influence.  Because I think it is their opinion, and they have a right to express it without judgement when asked.  Technically, just because I may not agree, doesn’t make it less valid.  Facts and opinions are two different ballgames.

Then there is (3).  The “Mother Ship has landed people”.  The one’s I promised you.

I’m going to give you two examples in this.  Because this one person gets the cake for a refusal to take the survey.    I think s/he was messing with me, or possibly “on” something, (sigh) at least I’d hope it’s one of those two.

When asked if s/he would like to participate, the answer was, “No, I’m not home right now.  I’m a figment of your imagination.” and hung up.

Now, I’m really patient.  Those are normal.  People find interesting ways not to participate.  And even the perverts and the foot-in-mouth diseased Americans, with patience, and anonymity, you learn to bounce it off you and get through the survey.  Even if it takes a little longer.  Because… they…. are….. taking…. it…..

Did I mention that these survey’s are important, and yet you are hanging up on us?? And THESE people are answering!!!

So, okay.  This example is from a health survey.  I think I can say that without trouble.  And just to stop having to type “his/her” and “s/he”, we are going to assume this is a male.  That does not mean he was, and it doesn’t mean he wasn’t.

That was the first time my indifference waivered.  This guy was one of those people you knew were completely serious, and the more you spoke to him, the more you realized that even Mother Ship rejected him.  The more I tried to keep him on the survey, the more “creative liberty” he took in his interpretation and ideas.  He never crossed the line, and it wasn’t my patience faltering.   I just couldn’t do anything with him.  I tried.  But, I had to let him go.  When asked an insurance question he told me (paraphrasing) his insurance is of the godly kind, where none is needed.  “Because God is my insurance,”  Yeah, okay, time for you go to go now.  I politely stepped out, as his answers were so obscure at this point I couldn’t.  But, later on, when I got home, I thought… well…. he has a point.

NO NO NO… STAY with me here.

There is a Buddist saying that says “There is a fine line between pure enlightenment and mental retardation.”  (C/P one of the 200 names from Google search here)  So, the statement, “God is my insurance.”  Genius or insane? I think it is a valid point, comes from a very obscure reasoning, but, the point is valid.

Okay, throw god out of your head for this.  WHATEVER “this” is, (God, Jesus, nature, energy, Allah, Buddha, health, unity, science, laws, circle of life, whatever you Scientology people do (some alien guy, right?) and whatever other form/name/power/label you want to put here that I didn’t mention) it is a form of insurance.

Okay, too genius to answer on a basic level, and too….. whatever he was dealing with that made him, “off”…… to realize at some point “god” and “money” don’t collide when it comes to the science you have available to save your life.

But maybe ignorance IS bliss.  Maybe not knowing any better, and the knowledge of nothing but peace from the idea of, essentially, something makes us alive, and something makes us dead.  Money can reverse the suffering, for a time.

Of course, it will lead to unnecessary problems of diseases, and needless, needless suffering that doesn’t NEED to happen.  (We used to rely on only God.  That was when the Black Plague was around).  And, money force doctors to put the bottom line over human life.  Because the oath is noble.  The mortgage, kids, student loans, and kid’s college fund doesn’t give a s*** about your oath, and, in this economy, you HAVE a job.

I wanted to reply to him, “But God gave you the way to pay, to offer people the gifts of healing.”

But I had to be indifferent on the survey.  I had to let him go.  He was suffering needlessly, and maybe one day will read this before it’s too late.

Odd answers to a survey.  And these are the people who take it.  There are more wierdo’s then actual answers.  SO STOP CURSING ME OUT AND TAKE THE STUPID SURVEY!!

Conversation of a Drunk

Setting: Outpatient Rehab Center

Al: I went out and drank last night.  I didn’t mean too.  I love karaoke, and the only place they have it is in the bar.  I love going.  I know I can’t drink, but before I walk in I pray.

Eb: Pray for what, exactly?

Al: That God will remove the temptation to drink while I’m in the bar.

Eb: And he doesn’t?

Al: No.  Everyone is drinking.  My friends, the people I go with, the people in the bar, it’s too much.  So I wind up drinking too.

Eb: So why do you walk into the bar?

Al: I like karaoke.  I shouldn’t have to give up something I love just because I can’t drink.

Eb: So what do you do to prevent yourself from drinking?

Al: I pray.  There’s a passage in the Bible that God will remove all temptations if you pray for him too.  I don’t know what I’m doing to prevent him from working.

Eb: You’re walking into a bar.

Al: But I pray before I go in.

Eb: But, it’s not working.  Time to try something else.

Al: Well, I guess I could pray harder.

Eb: Or you can NOT walk into a bar.

Al: But then I can’t have fun.  God should remove the temptation to drink.  I keep praying.  I pray harder.

Eb: <sigh> Are you Catholic? Or some derivative, like Protestant, Methodist.  You’re not Jehovah Witness, Baptist, Born Again, Calvinism are you?   You quote the Bible, so I know your not Islamic, Muslim, or anything like that.  <eyes the room of people> There’s a reason I’m asking.

Al: I’m Catholic.  Proud Catholic.  And I know I have to pray.  I have to pray harder.

Eb: I believe you walk into the bar without the intention to drink.  I believe you pray to God to help before you walk in.  I believe you.  I believe God answers all prayers.  He does.  But sometimes the answer isn’t what we want to hear, or how we want to hear it.

Despite the fact you drank last night, you came here.  You drink every night, but something compels you to get up, come here, and open your mouth and tell us you drank.  Some people, when they get hungover, won’t get out of bed.  Or they’ll come and lie because they don’t want to change.  Something compels you to come here everyday.  And everyday you say the same thing.  And everyday we tell you not to go into the bar.

God is giving you the answer to your prayers.  Just not the answer you want or the way you want to hear it.  He’s telling you, through us, through this support group, NOT to walk into the bar.

Al: But why doesn’t he do anything while I’m in the bar.

Eb: Because that’s the answer YOU want, not the answer you NEED from God.  I asked what religion you were for a reason.  Do you think Jesus WANTED to die that horrible, horrible, horrible death? In the end, he even asked God, why are you doing this to me.  Why have you left me? But, for salvation, that’s what NEEDED to be done.  He had to take on all the sins, suffer for them, and die in the pain of them, for us to have salvation.

Even Judas didn’t WANT to turn Jesus in.  He killed himself, remember.  He didn’t WANT to do it, but he NEEDED to.

You don’t want to drink when you walk into a bar.  But for now, you do.  What you NEED is to not walk into the bar.  The harder you pray, the louder we get, did you notice that?

Al: So I can’t ever sing my karaoke again? I love my karaoke.  And they only have it at that bar.  They don’t have it anywhere else, I swear.  I looked.  I want to sing, I want to have fun.

Eb: No one said it’s forever.  Until you build up the resistance to the temptation you need to walk into the bar and not drink, you need to avoid going in there.  Have karaoke at home.  Right now, in this moment, God is answering you.  He’s telling you that you need to NOT walk into a bar.  It will work itself out eventually Al.  But right now, no bar.

Now that we got religion out of the way, because it’s hard to defeat religious principal, I feel I can say what I really want to say safely.  Religion has a place, it’s a philosophy, way of life, common interpretation of whatever God really is.

But do you see the insanity of this? Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result.  You walk into a bar, pray not to drink, but wind up drinking.  You do the same thing the next day.  The next.  Just praying for the removal isn’t working.  At some point you have to make a change.  At some point you have break the cycle.  Praying harder is not change.  You’ve been doing this for months now.  Prayer alone isn’t working.  It’s time to change the strategy here.

And maybe God is telling me to tell you that.

Honey, The Kids are High on Nutmeg

I don’t know where to start on this one, folks.  Just when you thought you cleared your pantries of expired medications, locked up the Robitussin, threw out the whipped cream…

Smoked all the pot, licked all the acid, snorted all the markers, and dusted all your keyboards…

You locked up your liquor cabinet, flushed all the coke, monitor all the friends, call all the parents, make sure some one is going to be there at every party they go to…

You’ve totally been a diligent parent to your child, now growing to pre-teen and teen years.  You’ve talked to them about all the drugs like all the school handbooks told you to.  You monitor their webcams, blogs, chat messages, tweets.  You talk to the teachers, you watch for all the signs, you still make sure the program on TV they are watching isn’t porn…

Your a good parent.  You’ve completely teen-proofed the house of anything those little brats will get a hold of lest you become one of those parents you see on the show “Intervention,” snubbing your nose.  “I would never let it get that bad.  That would never happen to MY family, or MY child.  I AM PREPARED.”

Well, you didn’t lock up the spice drawer oh vigilant parent.  That stuff you make your famous cookies out of at every bake sale you attended to promote whatever your elementary tot was doing…

This is now your demise.

Yes, apparently, if you eat enough nutmeg, and I mean swallow tons of it, you can get a “trip,” much like that on acid, but with more throwing up involved.  (But hey, you will throw up lots of rainbow sludge so that’s something, right?).  Did I mention this trip, unlike acid, will last you 48 STRAIGHT HOURS!!!

Thus is the new trend.  The 48 hour nutmeg high.  I heard this on the news.  I looked it up on the internet, this is very true.  Because we got wise to the “let me drink all the cough medicine” high, so kids had to get more inventive.

Just a quick pause right here, before I go any further.  WHO TRIED THIS!! I mean, before it became a trend, some kid had to be sitting in mom’s basement (I mean, I think anyone who would do this probably still lives with mom and dad) and go, “I’m bored.  I have no Robitussin,  I have no money/too young to buy weed, the liquor is locked up.  What do I do? I wonder what would happen if I just ate all my mom’s nutmeg.”

And in the 48 hour hallucinogenic high, sometime between having a party with people who aren’t there, and throwing up their brains in the toilet (it makes you really sick according to internet reports.  Doesn’t this sound fun), they  managed to tweet, blog, and call every friend in the world to try it.

And now we have a trend.  And who knows if any other spice is safe.  Maybe that Oregano is worth more than just an herb we try to trick the police into THINKING it is (because we all carry around little baggies of oregano, yanno, in case we encounter a pizza that has no flavor).  We just haven’t ingested enough pounds of it at once to know better yet.  Any takers on that?

While we are on weird trends to get high, in my quest to find out about nutmeg, I stumbled upon something called “I-Dosing.”  Are you ready folks? Want to know what your kid is really listening to on their headphones.

Music, that if sitting in a dark room, and pumped directly into the ears, has hallucinogenic effects.  No, really, I’m not kidding.  Kids really think that listening to this annoying music (that sounds much like what happens when I accidentally call a company’s fax number)  will get them high.  There’s a method for this too.  You sit in a dark room with headphones.  And listen…. Don’t believe me?

I-Doser. Get High Legally and cheap with sounds!

I guess my dilemma about this one is, with all the dumb things my kid could be doing to destroy their body in an attempt to reach extreme Euphoria, should I be mad if this is the path they chose? I mean, hey, it beats thinking they are out raiding the grocery stores of nutmeg, or any other spices some kid hasn’t ingested enough of yet to get a buzz.  I mean, really, can I be mad if my child is open to trying a more metaphysical high?

Or is this the new gateway drug? Because you know what’s going to happen.  They will all be together at a party, listening to… whatever you call that stuff (is it even music?), and one kid will turn around and say, “Hey, do you know what would make this REALLY cool?”

And then I’m all out of nutmeg when it’s time to make Christmas cookies.

The Chapel Hill Murders

I think it was an episode of Law and Order SVU where the cops showed up to an anti-abortion rally where they got wind a doctor would be killed.  When they asked one of the protesters why they would kill a man, he responded by asking the same question back.  “We are here to preserve life, not take it away.”

That stayed with me.  We are absolutely entitled to our beliefs, but killing people over them makes our point hypocritical, and lost.  It says nothing but that one person can prove he has more hate in his heart than he does for the idea he’s supporting.

With that, three beautiful Muslim women were killed, putting two families in heartbreak, simply because one guy didn’t believe in Muslims.  I’m so sorry for your loss.  There’s no words I can say here that would make it right.  I’m sorry that humanity itself has let you down.

If there is any good in this, it’s that some psychopath with a gun who thinks he’s fighting for freedom will now live and die in the confines of an unfree prison.  He will never take another free breath again.  Hopefully, the officers will continue to give him, over and over, the most slippery slab of soap any prison has ever had.

Wherever we go, wherever we wind up, the words hate and wrong will become meaningless.  It doesn’t bring them back, and it doesn’t make their loss any easier to take.  The real injustice would be to let it destroy you.  Don’t let him win.  Don’t let him destroy you.  They are okay.  And wherever they are, they are unhated.