Sunday, September 25, 2016

What we were like, and then some -- a Spotify playlist for Recovery September

September is recovery month, and I'm happy -- very, very happy -- to tell  you I haven't had to drink or use in 12,836 days. Crazy, huh?

But even at 35 years sober, I like a distraction from real work as much as the next addict. So this weekend, when I should have been putting up  the living room blinds and pulling weeds, I spent a shitload of time putting together a Spotify playlist called "What we were like, what happened, and what we're like now." You'll find the link below. I think it's around 60 songs, so I'll be kind of surprised if anyone actually listens to the whole thing, but what the hell. I'll listen to it, plus I get a blog post out of it. So there.

If you do decide to listen, a couple warnings:

First, it's not terribly child friendly, unless your child has a mouth like a sailor. Probably not a great idea to play it while you're hauling the neighborhood kiddies to school.

Second, TRIGGER ALERT. It starts out pretty light, but the section on "what we were like" gets progressively darker, and ends up very dark indeed -- just like the disease of addiction,  So if it starts to get to you, skip ahead to "Amazing Grace." It's pretty much uphill (in a good way) from there.

Finally, if I've accidentally included a skinhead band or something similarly awful, please tell me so I can take it out.

And now, for your consideration:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Henny Penny Snags a Big One

So anyway, Ducky Lucky was taking his morning constitutional when he ran into Henny Penny. She was dragging along a huge plastic case about twice her size. It wasn't going well.

"What on earth are you doing, Henny Penny?" asked Ducky Lucky.

Bringing home my new rotary hammer," Henny Penny gasped. "Whew! Gotta sit down."

Ducky Lucky eyed his friend carefully. "Rotary hammer. You mean like a jackhammer?"

Henny Penny was still catching her breath. "Not a jackhammer. Rotary hammer." She licked a drop of sweat from the tip of her beak.

"Lemme see," Ducky Lucky demanded.

"Okay," Henny Penny wheezed. She tried to lay the case down gently on its side, but she lost her balance and she fell with the case. Suppressing a squawk, she opened the lid. Inside was a huge, sleek, green tool that looked more like an assault weapon than any kind of hammer. If it were a person it would have been Chuck Connors as Marvin "The Claw" Zuckerman.

"Holy fuck!" said Ducky Lucky, not even trying to hide his admiration. What is a rotary hammer, anyway?"

Just then Foxy Loxy trotted up. "Whoa! Is that an assault weapon or are you just happy to see me?"

"It's a rotary hammer," Ducky Lucky said. "Cool, huh?"

"Yes, indeed, it's a real beauty all right!" gushed Foxy Loxy. "What's a rotary hammer?"

"I don't know," said Ducky Lucky. "But I'm pretty sure I want one."

Henny Penny rolled her eyes. "Don't you two know anything? It's like a drill, only on steroids. It hammers while it drills. In and out! Around and around!"

Foxy Loxy walked around the hammer, inspecting it from all sides. He narrowed his eyes. "It's kind of phallic, isn't it?"

Yeah. It's eighteen inches long and it's mine.
Foxy Loxy reached down to pick it up, but Henny Penny intercepted.  "It's mine!"

"Yours?" Foxy Loxy asked, incredulous. "Oh, come on. You can barely hang a picture."

"Well, that changes today," clucked Henny Penny, and then she grinned. "This baby can drill through cement!"

"Since when do you need to drill through cement?" asked Foxy Loxy.

"It was on sale," Henny Penny said defensively. She pulled out a Sham-Wow and began to polish it. "I've named him Diesel," she said quietly.

"Do you even know how to run that thing?" asked Ducky Lucky.

Henny Penny shifted uncomfortably. "Sure, I do," she hedged.

Ducky Lucky took Henny Penny by her shoulders and looked straight into her eyes. "As I recall, you once pounded frozen hamburger crumbles in the frying pan with a hammer. Shit flew everywhere. Face it, Henny Penny. You're just not good with tools."

Henny Penny's eyes flashed. "I'll have you know I'm very mechanical!"

At this, Ducky Lucky and Foxy Loxy broke into fits of laughter. "Yeah, right! Like when you didn't replace your brakes until they actually fell off your car. Oh, and when you caused a gasoline flood at the BigGas because you forgot to turn off the nozzle. Yeah, you're real mechanical, Henny Penny. That's rich!"

As they were recovering from the joke, Owlie Jowlie walked up and eyed the rotary hammer. "Kind of phallic, isn't it?"

"Oh, shut up!" growled Henny Penny. "I'm done." She stood up and ruffled her feathers. "Let's go, Diesel. We'll find a nice piece of cement, just the two of us. We'll have a picnic." The little hen tenderly covered Diesel with the Sham-Wow and latched the cover.

"You know, you really are kind of phallic," whispered Henny Penny.  And with a mighty heave on the case, Henny Penny began the long trek home.


-- Yes, I bought this, and yes, it's huge.
-- No, I don't call it Diesel. 
-- I was so intimidated when I opened it up that it took me a month to take it out of the case, and another two weeks to turn it on. 
-- After I drilled two practice holes in the garage I had to lay down.
-- Now I can hang pictures on my cement walls.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Phyllis Schlafly is Dead.

Phyllis Schlafly died of cancer yesterday. She was most famous for her successful fight to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. More than any single person, Phyllis Schlafly is the reason women are still not protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Schlafly was an attorney, activist, and prolific writer. She successfully formed and led right-wing extremist groups. She could not have accomplished any of this but for early feminists. On the backs of suffragettes, she did her best to destroy the women's movement. She was a rabid opponent of LGBT rights, too, despite the fact that she had a gay son.

These are just a few of her charms. You'll find plenty more in the Washington Post's obit.

Cancer is a terrible thing, and I hope Phyllis Schlafly didn't suffer. To her family, I'm sorry for their loss.

For the rest of us, however, I celebrate her passing.  The world is now a little brighter.