Tuesday, May 30, 2017






    I'm an eldest child. I had no choice in the matter. In fact for my first 14 months on earth I thought I was the only child of a single mom, playing with a pack of Luckys in our trailer. Then the old man returned from Korea, left me out in the living room with my cigarettes, as he defiled my mother and nine  months later brother Bird (Mupp) was born. I dealt with the trauma of not being the center of attention and went about my business as the family grew. They stopped the puppy mill at three brothers and one sister. It took me a while to reconcile this betrayal of favoritism, but eventually I realized that my position as elder amongst my siblings brought with it not only competition but responsibility and an obligation to the pack. They looked to me to learn the ropes of manipulation that I had refined in my 14 months before they all got here. When do you cry to get the tit or just sulk in the corner? Is it a show of weakness to kiss ass or can we all agree to cooperate for the better good of the unit? It's a complicated dance being the eldest, but I've done my best.
    All this said, I can honestly admit that my siblings paid very little attention to my advice after they were all weaned. They were strong individuals in their own rights and my father's admonitions to me that "YOU have to set the example." was laughed at by all of them as time passed. And that was for the common good. I became an artist, an iconoclast, a radical, lazy draft dodger who had no interest in holding down a steady job or starting a family. It would've served no purpose for my brothers and sister to follow my lead. So instead of having kids I started a church. They had plenty of kids who now are all having kids. Ignoring my example my immediate family became upstanding members of the community, maintained steady jobs, remain out of jail and are pumping out kids like a bunch of Hassidics. Once in a great while they attend CLGM services. Most times the ascribe to Bird's viewpoint- "I've seen the elephant stand on one foot before. No need to attend that circus."
    So to all my family who were not there, and may happen to read HWS, here's what you missed. Sister Elyse Steinman died over the winter from cancer, as did Brother Sal Siggia. THE CALICO INDIAN service was dedicated to the memories of these two beautiful individuals. It was a joyous occasion, not a wallowing in grief, rather a celebration of who they were and who "WE" are. The place was packed with strangers, most of whom never knew Elyse or Sal, but choked up with those who did. They brought their kids and dogs, dressed up in colorful disguises and made so much noise the heavens rocked. The vibe was so electric and positive it brought tears to my eyes. I lost my voice barking out hymns like BORN JUST A LITTLE GAY and POOR (what is it good for?) Even though CLGM services seem to only take place once a year, it only takes a second to find our stride. The LOVE in the room becomes so pervasive, it's literally impossible not to be positively affected.
   I have failed miserably in setting a good example to my brothers and sister if they feel any reticence in exposing their children and grandchildren to CLGM services. A little before she died my mom attended church. "Sister Nun of Your Business" asked her if she was shocked? She smiled that wry smile of her's and said it was "About what I expected." from her eldest. My mother was a generous inspiration. I want to thank the Band of All Faiths, Majestic Farm, Outlier Studios, Nutbush, Judge Andy, Pigpen Rothman, Shewho, Honey the Clown, Kat Wilson, Cardinal Leila,  all the supermodels, Grey, Greg Strempka, many I'm forgetting and every stranger who attended and felt happy and safe after experiencing something that is bigger than all of us. I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of something that has lasted over 30 years and has led us down an incredibly satisfying path, cleared of all deadfalls and briars of dogma, doctrine, and mean spiritedness. To my great nieces and nephews who someday may be able to read this- REMEMBER how much I LOVE you and how welcome you are at church....no matter what you parents and grandparents have told you. This is my example to you.        

Monday, May 22, 2017



Where was I? Oh yeah, I'd just passed out at the bar. I wasn't drunk. I felt it coming on and warned the bartender that I may go down. What I can piece together from the people who kept  me from sliding to the floor was that when I started to go down they rushed over and propped me back up in my chair. I wasn't out long. Just long enough to call 911.

    First on the scene were two guys from the firehouse right next door. Every bar should have a firehouse close by. They took my pulse and blood pressure as the woman down the bar said it was diabetes or heart attack. She repeated her diagnosis as I sat drenched in sweat and got some water in me. Passing out is not a pleasant experience, but it is interesting. There's a strange calming after effect, like a good clip of coming attractions. The firemen agreed I was OK, but they had already called the Paramedics so they waited around until they showed. And here's where a simple loss of consciousness becomes an economic issue.
    I don't have insurance and felt  since I requested (while conscious) that my unconsciousness be taken in stride, I had not ordered any medical assistance. Now i also understand the bartender not wanting an unconscious man driving away customers. I guess I should have put a time limit on it, or wear a badge "If unconscious for over 5 mins. call 911" or "Do not bill unless called." So after the paramedics in their blue uniforms went through just what the firemen went through out came the paper work. Name? Address? Ph.#? Sign here. I looked at the checked boxes refusing service and was conscious enough to realize that by signing it they could bill me. I refused. They both looked at me like I was crazy.  The guy smiled and repeated, "No. You have to sign." By then I was not only  regaining consciousness, my litigious nature also was returning with my rosy cheeks. "All due respect." I informed my medics "I don't have to sign anything." They both sighed and the bartender signed. I did not go to the hospital.
    Today I got my bill. It came faster than the paramedics. It was for services rendered: $200. No here's the question. Does one have a right to public unconsciousness? Every time I pass out, is it going to cost me $200? I don't want to be an asshole, but neither do I want to set a precedent. This very probably won't be the last time I nod in public. So I wrote a little letter. I told the company that sent out the pulse and blood pressure takers that I appreciated the gesture, but I did not order what they were delivering, and was under no obligation to pay for it. That said, I think it is worth something, so I offered to pay $100 if they would bill me accordingly. Passing out should not cost so much. The woman at the end of the bar told me for my own good one more time. "Diabetes......you may have the diabetes.....or a heart attack."

Friday, May 19, 2017

WSSP- chicken coop/dog house


     I apologize for not being the guy you could count on for a little diversion with my regular blogs. It's a combination of many factors: writing FANCESTOR (the title I'm now going with), turkey hunting (not going well), and first and foremostly a sense that I no longer can compete. Case in point is my last week. Samm had to go to Germany which left me again house and animal sitting with Lassie Dog and Monkey Cat, which left Cheeky Monkey all alone back at my house with my roosters Samm, Teddy and Tessa. After my TV blew up, I gave up television. Then my CD player broke. Now my only diversion is two radio stations WJFF and WFMU, both decent but not 100%. So when they suck I have silence. So camping out at Samm's with her Amazon and CNN is a little like getting a good hotel room- with a dog and cat.
    My first indulgence wasting time was watching I LOVE DICK. I'd spent a weekend with the author  of the book the show is based on, Chris Kraus and her husband Silvere in the 90's, with my much younger, much more ambitious stripper/grad student girlfriend. The show is overtly artsy and based in Marfa with Kevin Bacon, sort of Marlboro Man meets Karen Finley. It wasn't bad, but without my curiosity and envy over Chris Kraus getting a TV show, I don't think I would've cared. I remember painfully watching Silvere try to split wood on Long Island as my girlfriend talked feminist polemics with Chris. I also remember his relief as I grabbed the ax and showed how to do it "correctly." He just smiled and told me how good I was doing and to keep it up and opened a bottle of wine. I know the game, but I no longer play it.
   After plowing through "Dick" I turned on CNN. What a week to have CNN!  The turkeys weren't gobbling and I was getting frustrated and worn out from 4:00 am alarm clocks. I had promised to build Samm a chicken coop while she was gone and my only other obligation was to keep abreast of history unfolding. And that is now a full time job. As the thermometer climbed to the 90's I drug my tools and some lumber up Samm's lawn and went to work. In between Comey memos, tweets, and appointments of special prosecutors, the pad for the coop took shape. The coop itself was a dog house with a history. I'd built it with my nephew Isaac in 1998 and when the neighbors saw it on their property it started a war. I told you it had a history. In any case it ended up at GNJohn's. John renovated and insulated for his dog GIRL. Then Pigpen Rothman cut in a nesting box in the side and for a time hens laid eggs there. Now it was coming back to me.I had to tear it apart and cut the roof off just to lighten it enough for two men to move it. Which we did, then.....
    Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. After the special prosecutor was appointed the Trump gave a commencement speech at the Coast Guard and whined that he was the most unfairly treated President in history. How can you compete with such absolute bullshit? I hadn't eaten all day, came in from the hot sun, had a beer and went down to the Inn to get a burger. The news was on and the bartender waved it off and scowled when I asked what had happened in the five minutes it took for me to get to the bar. She wasn't interested in the least. After I ordered my cheeseburger she told me it was hot dog night. Too late. I had already ordered my burger. So as I sat there with the voice of Trump droning over the TV, bit into my burger, I began to feel lightheaded. "You OK?" the girl behind the bar asked. I nodded took another bite. Then I realized I wasn't OK. I called her over. "If I pass out..." I informed my bartender "don't call 911. I haven't eaten all day." She scowled and told me to eat and not to dare pass out in her bar. That's the last thing I remember.    

Friday, May 5, 2017