Well, it’s time once again for Unsolicited Reviews of Bands We Once Loved. Tonight’s target of affection: The Scorpions.
Back in 1979, when I worked at Day & Night Grocery on Broadway and Jefferson, (what was the store area is now the back dining room at Higgins) I was three blocks away from the Paramount Theater. I knew the stage manager, a stoned-out Kato Kaelin-turned-biker-type named Dan Hunt, and an occasional quart of beer or a joint got me special treatment, like sneaking into an Outlaws/.38 Special show. Dan spoke of bands I wasn’t familiar with. Some guys from Ireland called U2. They sold out the Paramount, though nobody (meaning me) had ever heard of them. There was lots of excitement over that one.
I had heard of Judas Priest, and would love to see them, but their show happened on one of my work nights. Being the responsible young adult I was, (laughing, now straight face) I went to work, and about 11 PM three members of Judas Priest walked in. They purchased five cases of Budweiser, making the groupies carry it back to the hotel. I was starstruck!
But nobody cared about them. They were all talking about Judas Priest’s opening band, The Scorpions.
…The Lost Joint.
I have a safari vest that carries a bit of everything. When I wash it, the contents fill a plastic grocery bag. It’s much like a woman’s purse: None of your goddamn business what I carry around in it! (I keed, but not really. I learned at an early age to stay out of a woman’s purse, even if she tells you to go into it. No good can come from seeing in there…) I have all kinds of helpful items, and some shenanigans.
Recently one of my shenannigans turned up missing.
I hate it when things don’t work out. You think you see what is a good fit, and maybe it was for a while. But things change, things get old, we grow. As we get older, we discover what’s important to us. I have discovered, for instance, that a job and a home and a sorta-well-taken-care-of family is my goal, and what I have attained. It’s not perfect, but it works pretty well for me.
Therefore, I must do what I have to to protect it.
Say hello to my leetle frenn. This is Venus. (Or Luna. Jury is still out, but I prefer Venus.) She is part boxer, part Labrador. A Blab.
She’s cute and tiny and sturdy for a puppy. She’s taken to Sandy, who is proud as a new mother. She’s showing Venus the ropes, including the pecking order. If you don’t want your own carrot, Venus, don’t try to take Sandy’s. Sandy takes her carrots seriously. If the Guinea pigs get a carrot, so does Sandy. Interlopers will have their face eaten off. Venus learned this right out of the gate. Yipe yipe yipe!
Venus has learned to use the yard already; only one household mishap. She seems to sleep a lot. I wonder if she’s been eating green scraps off the floor in Sister’s room? Not the case. Apparently she keeps quite busy during the swing-shift hours, a doggie after my own heart.
It was a happy Sunday for me. I had a visit from a very special friend or two, who walked the city with me during lunch hour, and brought gifts of clothing and weed. (A really nice glass promo pipe and a gram or two of some fine icky. They don’t smoke much.) I found an airtight comtainer, and upon arriving home I took said pipe and icky into the front yard for the Perseid meteor shower show. I saw nussing. Nussing! But I had a wonderful time playing the harmonica and cuddling with Django, who decided for the first time ever that he wanted to curl up on my lap. He was most gentle, but his claws got to my leg eventually and I had to send him walking. Still, I could feel the love.
In all, a wonderful day. And now I have Monday and Tuesday off, to find some kind of amusement and get rid of all the pent-ups before Wednesday. That’s Next Call for responsibility.
Besides the little dog outside my door, that is.
It’s already my Tuesday, but it feels more like a Monday than ever.My days off have been falling in the Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday range of late, which makes for a brutal work week. Mine starts off with the after-work drinking crowd and devolves into weekend mayhem. The real Monday is often a quiet end to the madness.
I load up my bag with the things that get me through the night, and awaaay we go…
“Neptune’s not doing so good.” Sister met me at the door. I went down the hallway and saw an all-too-familiar sight in the bathroom. One of our animals, curled up on the floor under a blanket.
“What happened?” Nobody seemed to know. He was old, at least ten. He’d been getting skinny, to the point where Sis would buy him canned cat food, but mostly he mooched human food. The last few months he wanted a taste of everything. He’d be underfoot to the point of irritation, but so lovable about it I couldn’t just boot him out of the way.
We shared many moments in the hallway, or late at night in the kitchen, when he’d be on-point, waiting for a flicker of movement, then a pounce! He’d come out with a ball of fur and a tail, and after a couple hard bites, if the mouse was small enough, it would disappear. If it was too big? It ended up on Sister’s pillow as a token of affection.
I’m going to miss my buddy. When I saw him on the floor, I knew I couldn’t just hang out and watch. “I’ll see you around, buddy.” I stroked behind his ears the way he liked. He raised his head a little, gave me a mew, and laid back down. I walked under the overpass as nightfall approached, and the lights dimmed briefly. At that point I knew. When I got back home, Sister again met me at the door. “Neptune has moved on to greener pastures.” I didn’t need to hear more.
I got up at dawn. My niece was crying quietly. My sister was in the backyard, adding another stone to the Pet Sematary. I am grateful she took care of this one. I would have taken care of it, but I’m glad I didn’t have to.
It’s just gonna be weird not seeing him outside my door every night.
“Sixty-nine… Ninety-five… Give her a try…”
I’ve been writing a lot about scoring medication for other people, but every now and then one has to take care of self. So what does the provider smoke?
That’s exactly what I ask the budtenders at the dispensaries.
Ten years ago I’d have been called a weed dealer. These days I’m a “caregiver.”
I’m not trying to be cynical or sarcastic. This is wonderful! I’ve gone from that Dude in the Alley to “The Nice Man that helps Uncle’Jeff’s back.” It’s about time! I do miss the shady side of weed. Getting away with it was half the fun.
These days it’s more about getting through the day than the latest episode of Thrillseekers. Instead of looking for something that will “fuck your shit up”, these days people can choose major, little or no effect. Just read the label!
Laffy Taffys, as my clique calls them, are a workday staple. Costing $5-$25 and varying in strength, these portable godsends can make the difference between a pleasant workshift and a night on the milk crates, praying for the clock to hurry up and tick so you can go home and crawl into bed. You can get comfortable, pain-free or all fucked up. Just read the label.
Silver Label: Regular Strength, THC content 70+mg. One of these early in the morning is great for a day off, say a Saturday brunch and nap. If you are a lightweight, this might be too much. Anyone who has eaten ten beeswax caps can handle one of these. Don’t drive.
Blue Label: Double-strength, THC content 170 mg. I eat half, then the other half an hour or so later. It gives the THC time to creep, instead of putting you to sleep. These cover me for a whole work day.
Purple Label: Indica, 177 mg. This was a pleasant surprise. At $10, and 177 mg, this is cost-effective AND fucking potent. I split one with my sister before running errands. I was all teeth and no eyes. NOT for work.
Black Label: The Fatty, 261 mg, 2.+ mg CBD. These are my sister’s favorite. She quarters them for work. I ate a third of one as I began typing this, and am getting a warm feeling in my bones. (Warm, not burning. Big difference.) A whole one would put me in a coma, so sneak up on this one. It will knock you out, said mama.
Gold Label: All CBD, and the most expensive. I haven’t tried this one, because if I’m spending $25 I want to catch a buzz. Works amazingly for pain, I hear.
All of these team up splendidly with opiates. If you have oxycodone, morphine etc… you can make your dope go twice as far my eating half a taffy with your pills. You’ll be functionally drunk, and it feels like a hug from within. But… Don’t get too attached to this feeling. It’s a bitch if you get addicted.
Opiates, as a way of life, appear to be on the way out. As much as it pains me, (see what I did there?) the doctors are right. Ibuprofen works better long-term. (Opiates are more fun, though.) There will always be heroin, but I’m not fond of the buzz enough to subject myself to that kind of life change. I know me. I could never maintain a heroin lifestyle. It would kill me, one way or another.
So I am enjoying my Laffy Taffy this morning, about to price-check some CBD cartridges, pick up some goodies for my friends. Even though they can go do it themselves, they prefer me to shop for them. That’s okay with me. Yesterday my new Senior Discount was substantial enough to pay for a Black Label taffy. It will be gone by the time I get to the Pickles game tonight. Baseball oughta be a hoot!
Happy Tuesday, everybody.
It’s a couple days until August. Football season is right around the corner!
If you have cable, it’s already here. As a bored youth I remember watching the spring and summer excitement of baseball fade as football returned. Before college or pro football in the USA, there was the Canadian Football League. With their three-down possessions and extra-large field, the games were exciting. And they showed on Wednesday evening!
I will enjoy the CFL when it’s time, but tonight it’s still baseball season. Though it’s 1:30 in the morning, thanks to cable TV I can watch my dream world series match-up. Mariners vs Cubs. I already know the Cubs won 11-0, but I will watch anyway. The Harry Caray impersonators do Harry better than Harry himself. Sorry Harry, your performance has been a bit stiff of late.
While waiting for first pitch, I channel-surfed. Legends Football League? What do we have here? John Elway gang-tackled by a bunch of gimpy old guys? Couldn’t hurt to look…
I could miss the first couple innings of the Cubs game. I mean, I already know they won, right?
In fact, it’s so common that I would have a hard time selecting a simple Asshole of the Day most of the time. You get used to it. I tell people I have scabs on my soul from working at Master P’s, but it could be any store. You’re dealing with the public.
Most people are wonderful. They say please and thank you. If they burp or fart they do so quietly. They don’t steal or panhandle. Their biggest transgressions usually involve swiping their credit card too soon.
In between the tweakers, thieves and scumbags, and the snobby rich elite, we have the uber-entitled. College kids are notorious for this. Mom and dad never said no, so when I say no they don’t always know how to act..