Tag Archives: drugs

Only Between 7AM and 9PM

3 Jul

Are certain things normal/acceptable.  On the off-hours those same behaviors draw attention and seem out of place.  For instance:

The German by Cool 002

I was driving home from work at 5AM.  And when I stopped at the 4 way stop, a teenage girl came running around the corner, down the street, followed by a high school-aged boy on a bike.  Did she know him?  Was she being chased?  I sat at the stop, watching to see if she needed help, and they seemed to know each other.  Both stopped near a set of stairs and hung out.  I wondered what two teenagers were doing running around at this early hour.  Drugs?  Did they just commit a robbery or something?  I left without doing anything, because I didn’t really see anything–it was just the time of day that made it weird. . .

Michael Douglas

One Sunday at 6AM I saw two of the neighboring business owners standing across the street with tools, trying to cut down “5 minute parking” poles (not the signs, the metal poles) from a different business across the street.  I guess that’s weird at any hour.  And I thought it was a strange endeavor for 2 middle aged personal business owners to do at all.  Parking Nazi Thugs.

biel on mirror

 

The second story is perhaps more confusing:  I woke up at 3AM this morning, so rather then wasting time in bed waiting for 4AM to go clean at work, I just went to get it over with.  When I was driving to work (around 3:30AM) there was a woman walking up the sidewalk.  No one else was about, so I just assumed she just got dropped off by the bus and was Amazing_Electron_Microscope_Photos_Mosquito_Head-1mdCUheading to the nearby housing.  I finished driving to the end of that block, did a u-turn, parking in front of work, and that same lady was in the middle of the intersection–not 10 feet from where I had first seen her–and was staring at me.

light 1Hmm.  I sat there deciding whether or not it would be safe to get out of the safety of my car.  It was dark, and the gal was about a block from my car, so I couldn’t even see the color of the clothes she was wearing.  Not black though.  I also couldn’t tell if she was wearing a hat or had her hair pulled back.  And making out any facial features was out of the question.  I could just see a white lady with a small build standing motionless in the middle of the intersection.  Just looking back at me.  For 5 minutes.

Well, because my apartment AND my work are not in very good areas of town, and due to the unusually early hour (and darkness) I had brought bear spray with me–which I very rarely do.  Since the lady wasn’t aggressing toward me–or even moving a muscle, I decided if I came all that way, I was going to get paid.  And I got out of the car, half expecting her to approach me and ask to come inside.  I quickly went around my car, up the stairs, across the porch, and up the stairs and unlocked the 2 locks as fast as I could.

Then, I looked toward the intersection from inside.  Still there.  Still unmoving.  It crossed my mind to go all the way in twirlie sphereand call the police about a disoriented woman–doing no crime.  But I figured if the police couldn’t be bothered to find an attacker/murderer on the Centennial Trail, coming out to see a woman doing nothing wasn’t happening.  I punched in the security code, clocked in, and stood on a chair to look outside again.

The woman had moved–but only as far as the sidewalk of that same intersection.  I thought maybe she was waiting to get picked up.  Maybe for beetlea drug deal or waiting for a john or her pimp.  Who knows?  She sort of stood on one sidewalk, then crossed the street and stood on the opposite sidewalk, then she turned and looked right toward me again.  Did she see me?!  I ducked lower in case she had–certainly she hadn’t, but it sure looked like she was looking right at me.

Then, she leaned down and picked something up off the ground.  Then crossed to the opposite corner of the intersection, knelt and picked something else off the ground.  Then, the went further away on the sidewalk and stopped again to pick something up.  But she didn’t appear to have anything in her hands or put anything anywhere.  She was picking up either pebbles or something only she could see.  I watched her repeat her actions until she was out of view, then ran up stairs where she was in view again.cheshire cat

She stood very still, staring, meandered forward, picked something off the ground over and over until the trees obscured my view of her.  I have no idea what she was doing in the empty neighborhood at 3:45AM!  Drugs is my best guess. . .  At 4PM I wouldn’t have though twice, but as it was–it was weird.

Deb Wong 3After work, on my drive home I looked around for her.  And on the church lawn I saw someone sleeping (I think they were sleeping, at least) and I assume it was the same gal.  But it wouldn’t be unheard of for someone else to be passed out around there–the section 8 housing is sketchy, there’s a large bus stop right there, and the corner stores draw in a sort of transient, sketchy crowd.

PS–I’ll bet you didn’t know that SpoKompton has the 2nd highest crime rate per capita in the entire nation.  True story.

I can’t stand Ani DiFranco

21 May

She can’t really sing, has repetitive chords, her spoken word stuff sucks, and no one that THINKS they’re profound actually is.  Lame.  I think what really gets me is her lyrics and her spoken word crap.  I can tell she thinks of herself as smart and clever and that’s a huge deal-breaker for me.  I find her trite, cliche, and pretentious.

who is more hideousDouche loved her.  Probably because Douche fancied herself profound.  So I went to an Ani concert in Columbia, Missouri once.  And it was PACKED.  She has a huge following and I don’t get why.  At the concert, I was unimpressed musically–she offers nothing special, and may have been on some sort of speed.  And I never like to hear about celebrities doing drugs.  It makes me feel very disappointed in them.  Philip Seymoure Hoffman’s overdose made me feel torn.  I never want to support a junkie, but I felt sorry for him too.  And he’s still my favorite actor, because he does really good work.  But Ani?  I think she’s on drugs and didn’t like her in the first place, so it’s one more strike against her.

I CAN say she was very. . .  Shoot I can’t think of the word I want.  It starts with a c.  She had sort of a spark about her that drew people to her and made you like her.  And the woman and gays of CoMo really, really came out in droves and cheered heartily for her every move.  But I still don’t.  Like her, I mean.

Plus, it irks me that like Angelina Jolie (who I don’t care for either) she is this lesbian icon.  But is she even a lesbian?  I think she has a husband and child?  I’m not sure about that as I don’t follow the news about her because I don’t like her.

I don’t know what I saw recently that compelled me to start this draft, but I thought I would stray from speech & hearing and vet stuff that I’ve been covering a lot lately, and write something a little gay and a little music.

 

 

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Olympic Cynicism

27 Dec

So everyone know those Chinese gymnasts are waaay below the minimum age limit allowed.  It’s not fair, and one day we’ll all read how their Asian government doctored their birth certificates and they were really 8 and 10 year olds.  But, even more sinister is (maybe prevalent) steroid use.  After reading a book about The German Doping Scandal, where German (swimming) athletes were (sometimes unknowingly) given steroids that enhanced performance at the detriment of overall health, and a book about BALCO, the company that gave sprinter Marion Jones and baseball (anti)hero Barry Bonds steroid injections, I just can’t help but think the worst about athletes.

I LOVE watching the Olympics.  I have the greatest sense of pride when I watch the competitors.  And when I hear our national anthem it sometimes moves me to tears.  Even when the great performances are not from Americans, I highly respect the athletic prowess, determination, and loyalty to sport required to make it.

And I used to trust in the Olympic drug testing.  But with incidents like Marion Jones, how can you?  Obviously, just like in every other arena (theft, drug-trafficking, etc) the criminals are ahead of science and regulators.  So now when I watch an incredible act of athleticism, instead of thinking how talented the person is, I wonder how long before they are caught cheating.  It almost ruins the whole thing for me.

I just know Usain Bolt, with his show-boating and seeming ease in the sprints, was on steroids. Maybe when science catches up with the criminals or when someone gets caught or steps forward, we’ll hear about it.  And certainly, I want to believe in Michael Phelps.  Eff those dirty “athletes” for casting the shadow of doubt over the true champions.  Phelps is perhaps the greatest athlete of all time–a real hero–despite weed indiscretion and obvious lack of intelligence (more on this later).  Feats such as his are so magical they are difficult to believe. I hope talent like that exists without the enhancement of illegal drugs, but who’s to know?

Shame on the people that damage the integrity of the games by taking illegal substances to enhance their performance.  Fans of sport such as myself should never have to wonder if the incredible speed, strength, agility, or endurance we are witnessing are for real.  Putting a question mark in the equation adds the seed of doubt to the whole fanfare.  The dirty “athletes” should be completely ashamed of themselves!

At Least It’s Not the Frat House

18 Nov

And they are not INSIDE my apartment making a ruckus AND a mess.  But, it’s not all that better.  I can’t wait until we can get our own loft condo–hopefully away from neighbors all-together or at least next to ones who SLEEP.  Probably once we get a loft our neighbors will actually have to work at a job to afford it, unlike the situations we’ve had of late where spoiled twenty-somethings are having daddy and mommy foot the bill so they can party all night and sleep during the day, or with failed adults working the system, and nursing their drinking problems all night.

I needn’t have worried about sleeping through any pain.  The new upstairs neighbors made it so I don’t think I slept 3 consecutive SECONDS last night.  This is the third complaint already about these particular neighbors, and about the 12th noise complaint about different residents in our building.  Quiet hours from 10 PM to 8 AM are written right on the lease, yet nobody seems to SLEEP at night.  WTF?!!

Dear Landlord,

Since I had surgery yesterday, I was particularly unhappy about the neighbors in 316 making a ruckus in the stairwell during the night.  From 11 PM to 2 AM they made a literal 13 loud, trips down or up the stairs.  Transgressions including:  Slamming the apartment door, stomping or running on the stairs, talking, shouting to each other, firmly correcting the dog, carrying on a conversation for 10-20 minutes on the stairwell, and culminating in having an altercation with another neighbor who stepped out and asked them to be quiet.  Maybe it would be helpful if you hung flyers on everyone’s door highlighting the quiet hours, outlining how people can be more consciencious of their neighbors, and specifiying consequences of breaking the lease, the way you have with the parking and pet situations.  I am tired of waking up at the crack of dawn and struggling through 9-10 hour work days on sleepless nights, or as the case may be, lying awake all night despite post-op drugs.

signed,

sleepy, grumpy, frustrated tenant

Gang-Bangers

8 Nov

In the 1040s, L.A. was primarily white and groups of whites would pick on the few blacks found there.  The blacks just formed (unofficial and unnamed) groups to defend themselves.

In the 1950’s, police chief, Parker recruited police officers from the Southern U.S.  He was racist and knew what kind of enforcement he wanted in L.A.

Everyone was confined to very small spaces, creating much tension.  Though the last lynching occurred in 1948, police took up the oppression cause.

In 1965, was the Watts Riot.  LAPD pulled a black person over with no cause (this happened with regularity), heavy-handed “discipline” ensued, frustrated blacks fought back.

African Americans organized and formed the Black Panthers and a group called US.  Gangs were politicized at that time.  Soon, the FBI claims the Black Panthers were worse than communists or any other group.  As such, the FBI aims to cripple the Black Panther Party.  Their counterintelligence moved to pit the Panthers and US against each other.  The FBI sent propaganda to each group to turn them against each other.  Black Panther leaders were killed.

By 1969, blacks began killing each other.

1970s brought a “me” mentality to the black community.  But there was nothing in the community to join.  Raymond Washington started the Crips as a way to get some power.  There were a lot of people searching for a group, but no real leadership.  Danifu emulated the tenants of the Black Panthers for the Crips constitution:  Community, Reform,

The leather jacket was a status symbol.  Media became attached to gang killings over jackets.

Any other group that materialized was seen as poised against the Crips.  This is how L.A. became so fractured.  Once a person is killed, there would be a retaliation, then it never ends–it goes on and on and on.

Factories began to disappear in the late 1970s.  Black people lost jobs, couldn’t support their families.  Collapse of the black family occurred not during slavery, but when black men lost their jobs en-mass.  Gangs provided community and family to fill the holes.

Poverty Pimps would get government funds to “help” clean up gangs, but would individually profit instead of helping as they were supposed to.  The wider community of L.A. turned away from the black problems.  Money was not spent there.

In the 1980s gangs meant money.  Drugs exploded into large business.  In the dead communities of black ghettos, drugs were the only ones hiring.  Using intercity drug money, the federal government could supply funds to the Contra War in Nicaragua.

Once gangs had money, they could mobilize.  Once the gang killings occurred in wider (white) California, it became a major problem and media, politicians, and police took notice.  War on Drugs and Gangs started though drugs and gangs had been around (the ghettos) for a long while.  An entire generation of black people are incarcerated in prisons.

1990s brought the focus to South Central.  Warring gangs came together to fight injustice of police brutality.  Authorities tried to keep the Bloods and Crips at war.  Again, misinformation was touted to stigmatize the gangs and keep them fighting each other (rather than the LAPD).

Peace didn’t last long.

How do you stop the chain reaction of revenge killing?  How is the economy redeemed?  Who knows how to get the families back together?  How do the younger generations keep out of gangs and violence and drugs when they are surrounded by them?

Superficial Overview of “Requiem for a Dream” Part I

21 Apr

The movie is an aesthetic and unflinching look at addiction.  As an avid viewer of “Intervention” I thought I would be desensitized my the material in the film–not so.  Though the word “heroin” is never explicitly mentioned, the implicit consequences of its use is pervasive in the film.  The artistic cutting of the scenes with help from the tasteful instrumental soundtrack lends a dramatic and edgy truth to the four characters portrayed.  The syncopation of both the jerky scenes, illusions of being right opn the action, and irregular melodies of the music focuses the viewer’s perceptions right on the drugs.  Instead of preaching about the deleterious effects of drugs the film leaves this message unuttered.  The tacit “drugs are bad” message is effective because of just that fact–it is implied and evident.

A brief (and superficial) overview of main characters:

The son steals his mother’s beloved television (repeatedly) to pawn for drug money.  The primary motivation is satisfying his constant (selfish) craving for drugs.  His only true long-term aspiration seems to be making a big score to get a lot of money.  He engages in a plot to get more drugs, the machinations to buy his lonely mother a TV, and a vague scheme to become close to his girlfriend.

The mother is lonely despite being shown sunbathing in front of the apartment building with the close-knit community of other aging gals.  She constantly watches a motivational infomercial on TV and wishes to get on TV.  Her main plan is to fit into a red dress–but she must lose weight to achieve this end.  She finds a doctor to prescribe diet pills after a chance mention of a friend who lost weight this way when she was sidewalk sunbathing.

Like our main character, the best friend is a wholly devoted sybarite–interested mostly in the next fix.  He regularly reminisces about his own mother’s love, while getting more and more invloved in the business of the drug underworld.  He is caught up in the drama on the streets and ends up in jail temporarily.

The girlfriend’s parents have masses of money, yet she langors into addiction with the rest instead of whole-heartdly pursuing her garment business.  It seems she is seeking out some mercurial entertainment in her relationship with the main character–and with drugs.  Her capricious behavior quickly pushes her towards using her sexuality to garner drugs.

These four are a phalanx of desperation at the end of the movie.  The last scene is one of the most powerful in all of film–the director is obviously an expert.  Being somewhat of a connoisseur of addiction media, devouring television, documentary, and blockbuster films as well as real life news articles, I was still left just sick to my stomach from this film.  It is one of my favorite movies, yet it just makes me feel (for lack of better word) icky after I’ve taken it in.