Friday, August 27, 2010

Nothing of any note occurred.

So far as it goes it has been nearly normal in may regards.

Did I smoke crack? Yes, I did. Did I get money put away? Yes to that as well. As a matter of fact, bit more was put away this month than in previous months. $100.00 more is $100.00 not spent with the Crack Man.

The usual challenges that face me on a daily basis are still there to be dealt with. Cleaning, laundry, getting groceries from the market as well as from the food pantries still need to done. Getting to the library, which I used to do on almost a daily basis, is now a once a week trip.

This virus ridden computer is part of what keeps me in to a certain degree, but other issues have kept me from traveling outside as much as before. Both matters concerning physical health as well as moderate depression keep me from reaching for the door as often as before.

In many respects things are getting better and with that I'm pleased.

Because "Better is Better."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's money day.

Not officially but in fact the cash does flow into my account in about 2 hours.

I have to get very busy now, as there is housework that must be completed. The list of bills to be paid must be completed as well. I will not step outside of this house until that is complete and money orders are bought and filled out. I don't want to be cashing those in before they get stuffed safely away in the mailbox.

Even now as I sit here tapping on the keyboard, my mind is racing. You have to do this and that, and Oh yeah, this needs to be done as well. All these, unspecified chores, errands and obligations need to be completed before I can even think about calling the Dude.

The fact is though, I'm thinking about when I can make that call.

To those of you who think this whole thing is fucked up, in many respects I agree. It's just that it's even more so from my perspective. It's scary, frightening, exciting and gut wrenching all at one time. Just Say No doesn't cut it at all either. This is not a 30 minute thing. It hangs in there for hours, and indeed at times it's digging away inside of me for days.

Wish me luck and I'll report back when I get to the other side of this. Erie Crackhead (Cracker) will probably still be lurking on FB, he will probably even post to some support email lists he belongs to as well. So, it's not as though I'll entirely disappear from sight.

It's just that I won't be all there either.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I may be an activist...

But, I am still a crackhead.

Thursday found me with an unexpected $30.00.

What does a crackhead do with unexpected money. Well, he buys crack with it.

So I did.

Yesterday, thanks to my neighbor, found me with another $20.00. True to my twisted way of looking at the world, I bought a twenty piece with that as well.

So, while not a success in regards to holding money and not buying crack with it, things could have been worse. I was actually pretty loaded on Friday night, but not so much as to get into too awful much trouble. Just the usual obnoxious self that I am when toasted. No one gets too insulted or upset, but then again they might be too polite to say they were insulted.

Labeled mostly harmless and a bit funny when I'm high.

Not from the crack, but more from the booze and pot.

But a bit of vodka before fueled my wanting to get a rock. A bit of weed afterwards eased the jones when the crack was finished. A little more vodka and trying my best to be a polite host and later a polite guest at my other neighbors home kept me from getting into too much trouble. Emily Post and Miss Manners (Judith Martin) both would have had a heart attacks though.

At least I didn't get punched.

Now is the time where lists need to be made. Bills again, that have to be paid including some mounting expenses for medical crap. Food shopping happens as well, and I need to inventory more carefully as there is now more than I can use that hopefully won't spoil before it's used.

With that said, it's been one step forward and two steps back. It could well be that that is the way it will always be, but there is one thing that is always in the back of my mind.

I just have to keep walking.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Activist?

Well, that the way some perceive me on FaceBook.

And what the hell is Erie Crackhead doing on FaceBook in the first place?

The reason for that was to increase exposure for this blog. It is a way to get my message out to a few more poor fools who are in my shoes. It was also thought that more exposure would increase comments, good and bad that could be used to help himself. It was a way to connect to others as well.

Erie Crackhead needs friends too, you know.

Now there are over 100 FB friends connected to Erie Cracker. While some of his friends there have thousands, yes, thousands of friends, I am surprised at the acceptance EC has gotten there. I also think if many of the people who have friended EC on FaceBook read this blog, many would be un-friending in a heart beat.

In truth a few people have said they have no interest in being friends with a crackhead. Who can blame them in some respects. But one also has to consider that in another respect, we may both be losing something and that's a shame.

What are we losing? Well the chance to learn from each other for starters.

But what has happened is that my FB friends started to be people I know from Harm Reduction and those who are involved in Drug and Alcohol counseling. Some of these people know exactly who I am and as mentioned before, could pick me out of a police lineup. Now many of their friends are involved in one way or another in marijuana activism.

I guess Harm Reduction advocates supplied many of the initial contacts with those activists. They do come in many stripes, from patients who use MM and live in MM states or places where MM is something before legislative bodies and they are trying to gather support. Then there are supporters of decriminalization or the complete legalization of weed.

Then there are some friends that are really companies, growers and suppliers of paraphernalia who are trying to position themselves for the day when pot does eventually become legal in some measure. Whether for medical purposes or recreational purposes, they want to have made those social contacts to eventually or in some cases today to sell their products.

I may not live to see that, but it is going to happen.

Here I am though, advocating for medical marijuana on many links that flow through FB. I call the place "Short Attention Span Theater" as things fly through so quickly at times you miss some important stuff. In some respects the Information Superhighway gone mad.

Information overload is a kind way of putting it.

So as friends, both requests made by me and requests I've received, have started to accumulate the majority are activists for MM in one way or another. Comments I've made have also been noticed and have to some degree have been favorably accepted.

Why is this happening?

In part because I am using weed as a Harm Reduction tool in my own struggles with crack. There have been beneficial and positive results from that use. The other part is that in any state that now has legal Medical Marijuana a doc could write a recommendation for me without one speck of doubt as to my need. In that regard it has made some parts of my life a bit more tolerable.

So it's only natural that my involvement has evolved. It works for me, and it may work for you, but everyone is different in their reaction to any medication. Whether it comes from a plant or a drug company, that statement is truth. Don't believe me? Read the labels.

While commenting, urging a bit of common sense to the argument, injecting my own twisted sense of humor or just chatting with people there, as well friending and the other stuff that happens on FB, there is something that bothers me a bit. Am I a credible advocate for something that has helped me to some degree?

I mean, what does a crackhead know?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's Tuesday

The day after Monday and the day before Wednesday.

There are a lot of people out there who are moaning that it's gonna' be forever before Friday shows up around here. I don't have that problem as every day is the same as the other. With the possible exception of what the weather is like outside, it's all the same to me. Well almost all the same.

There are some subtle differences that are worth noting. Like Tuesdays and Thursday are the days for the City Mission food bank. Friday is St. Paul's food bank day. I don't go to the food banks as often as I have in the past. Spending less money on crack has meant more for the real necessities of life.

Like food, for instance.

Wednesdays are the days when the Erie Art Museum has it's outdoor, free lunch time concerts. One Wednesday a month, usually the last one is when the Erie Philharmonic has the Hot Dog and Classics concerts in front of the Warner Theater. The Warner is a beautiful place that also holds many memories for me from my childhood and beyond. From movies to concerts, like the Beach Boys, The Guess Who and The Moody Blues.

I've never heard the Philharmonic play there though and someday I intend to do just that.

Saturdays and Sundays are still kind of laid back days. As if all my days weren't laid back days, but with curtailed bus service and little else going on there is little reason to venture outside. Except when there is a festival of some sorts going on in the area. This week will be Celebrate Erie days. The high point for me will be the fireworks.

And they are free!

So, a few dollars are in my pocket. No crack has been smoked in a few days now as well. Life isn't perfect, but who's life is perfect anyway? The thing is that small improvements are being made. While maybe not quick enough in the measure of someone else, but I am happy with the direction things are going so far. Things may well change tomorrow, but that will be worried about at that time.

After all, Better is Better and that's my Gold Standard.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guess what!?!?

I have money in my pocket and haven't called the Dude!

I am being a little disingenuous as what I have available isn't quite enough to buy a twenty. But with a little effort, the extra 5 bucks or so needed could be scrapped together. Laundry money, a couple of bucks from Don or just playing the dealer a bit could get me a bit of a buzz.

But not today kids.

I am feeling a bit cranky, as the chronic pain that plagues me is really biting me. Biting me right in the ass and thigh and calf and toes. Worse than most days, but certainly not as bad as it may eventually become. Wonderful stuff to consider.


But what I will be doing, as I have been for the past few days, is to stay as comfortable as possible. So wandering down to the park today is not in the cards. Moving for that matter will be kept to a bare ass minimum. Trips to the kitchen to check my crock pot turkey, using the john, adjusting fans to blow some cool air and keeping things like TV and DVD player remotes close at hand is the plan.

A few puffs of MM will make things a bit more tolerable and will facilitate my staying semi-vegged out to keep discomfort at bay. As with any medication there are trade-offs, but considering the other stuff prescribed by the docs, this seems to be working the best right now.

Why all this babbling about my physical condition right now?

Well, right now it's something that really has my attention. This type of pain does focus you, or perhaps more correctly diverts ones focus from other things. When it feels like you just took a pan of boiling water and poured it down your leg, you may have a picture of what this feels like.

On a scale from 1 to 10 it's been shooting up to 8 1/2 to 9.

But this is one thing that concerns me, and it wasn't apparent to me not too very long ago. The sorry fact of the matter, just as the weed distracts me form my discomfort, so does crack. Now, don't even think my mentioning this is a way of justifying my smoking crack. Besides, I don't smoke crack for physical pain relief.

So, why do I smoke that crap? The answers are as illusive to me as they are to those who know me.

OK...I'm gonna' look for some cheese to go with this whine.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Pretty Good Day

For a change it was a pretty good day for me as well.

It's been pretty warm and muggy for the past few days. It looks like this part of the world is going to be like that for the few days as well. While there is no air conditioning in my home, the fans placed around do make it somewhat comfortable.

I decided that spending time at the library would be a little more comfortable than sitting around here. Getting out and among people is also a good thing for the Erie Crackhead. I know that fact, it's been mentioned here before. Most importantly, people who know nothing of this blog or of my taste in recreational drugs urge me to get out more often.

So I did.

As always, it is a bit of an adventure to get out of this place. Why I don't do it more often is at times a mystery to me. Well, not a complete mystery, but more than few beautiful days have been wasted because of my reluctance to get my ass in gear. It could be added up to depression to some degree, physical discomfort and the hassle of just getting out that hold me back at times.

That's even a consideration when crack isn't involved at all as well.

But as mentioned before, getting out does supply a bit of adventure and little surprises that would never be experienced inside my coop. Today was no exception in that regard. As I cruise on down the street I always smile at the people who cross my path. Pretty ladies always get a bigger smile, as they should.

Getting on the trolley, there was a lady who was watching, from what I could get from the conversation, her two nephews. They had never been on a bus before and were full of questions. One was, "How does the driver know when we want to get off?" The curiosity of children has always amazed me and today's exposure to that was no exception.

When the trolley was close to the library, I asked the young lady in charge of the boys if they were getting off at that stop. No, they weren't. Oh, OK..I was going to let one pull the chord that rings the bell. I rang the bell and hopped off.

Thinking back, I should have just let one of the kids pull the chord.

Anyway, I returned my DVDs and picked out a couple of new ones. I also put in a reservation for a new DVD that is going to be available shortly. Continuing on I went to the second floor to play on their computers. What internet junkie is going to pass up playing in an air conditioned environment.

After running out of time at the library, I took the trolley to Mickey D's. that's my buddy Greg's hangout. I found out how well he knows the place. An employee was trying to help a woman, who appeared to be a outside salesperson of some sort, get set up with power for her laptop. McDonald's does have free WiFi, which is a fact filed away for later use.

Anyway, Greg had to point out where the power outlets were located to the employee. There are only two in the place and they are widely separated, but Greg had that fact down. The reason this surprised me is that Greg doesn't have a laptop or need of a power outlet for any other portable device he might possess. I think he has a cell phone for emergencies.

I'm almost sure that he doesn't buy enough Big Macs to be this knowledgeable about that place.

After shooting the breeze for awhile, I make my way out the door and continue up State Street. Looking around, you can see preparations underway for Erie Days, which is less than a week away. I do intend to make it that festival, as this will be the only time this year for me to see fireworks.

While watching them is great, I would rather be the guy who fires them off.

Cutting through the park, the usual suspects were there. Staking out spots, BSing with friends and watching the kids cooling off in the fountain. I haven't really checked out the farmer's market set up there yet, but they will be doing business until the snow falls around here.

Snow is a four letter word and should be miles from my thoughts on a day like today.

Anyway, a little tired and a little over heated from the weather, I made it back to my home without any negative consequences. I saw some things that I would have missed had I not gone out, I also had a chance to catch up with an old friend.

Sometimes adventures do not have drama, suspense or spectacular displays. Sometimes it's an adventure to wander around just to see what there is to see. And sometimes, well, most times, you learn something you didn't know and wouldn't have known if you stayed hiding away indoors.

Like where the power outlets are located at Mickey D's.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A little disappointed in myself

Why? Oh why?

Well with the best of intentions I had planned to go to the Erie Art Museum's Blues and Jazz Fest. It didn't happen and the only one to blame is me. I could have gotten a ride from a friend who had even offered to take me. But it was early and I didn't want to spend the whole day at the park.

Besides, the better groups were going to be playing later in the day.

The way a crackhead's mind works is even a mystery to me at times. But this much is clear. I had money in my pocket. I did have enough money to pay off Don, my vodka swilling neighbor. So I did pay him, as he was in a position of needing the cash right when it showed up.

I did have enough money to go to the fest and buy a T-shirt, which I thought were cool this year. I also had enough money to buy some food from the vendors and have something to drink as well. I even had enough money to have taken a cab home after everything was all said and done.

As usual though the money went to the Crack Man.

I didn't even sip Don's rot gut to get the ball rolling. It's as though an automatic reaction to having cash on hand is to call the Dude. Not a good thing to be certain, but it's a characteristic of mine that really needs work.

To add insult to this all, the twenty I paid back to Don was re-borrowed yesterday.

One other thing. This is a biggy to boot. The dryer in my building isn't working.

Now I have a machine full of wet clothes, and that mean I'm going to have to turn my boxers inside out yet again.

Well, they're not sticky yet.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vodka, Drunken Neighbors, and Cash Equals


Well, I am going to have to re-examine my motives for being nice when my neighbor shows up with his bottle. It seems a few sips and my crackhead brain starts working on getting Don to throw a few bucks my way for crack. He knows what I'm using the cash for and really doesn't care all that much. He knows he'll be repaid in a reasonable period of time and like he says, for him it's like "money in the bank."

But working him the way I do is just a variation on a theme. I have promised myself not to get involved with buying or getting crack on credit. Using Don and his loaned cash is the same thing as getting something from the Dude until next check time. This has gotten me into big, serious and possibly dangerous trouble in the past.

So, it's time to stop that little diversion of my neighbors funds from his pocket to mine.

Twenty bucks here and twenty bucks there can amount to my whole months income if this is let to continue in any way shape or form. Buying crack on credit, regardless of the source of that credit is not a good thing. That is a slippery slope to be avoided.

If it seems I'm repeating myself here, it's all for the good. To impress upon myself and anyone who is in a similar situation about what not to do. Lessons learned from the past that need to be taken to heart today.

Am I in deep debt with Don or anyone else?


That's the point though, and that is the direction I should be striving to be headed. If I do cave in to that temptation it will be counter productive to my goals.

If you don't have the cash, just don't do it.

This ain't a Nike commercial.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not quite out the other side.

No sense laying blame on Don.

But his being drunk with money in his pocket does fire up my crackhead thinking. It works way faster than the fastest working Cray Super Computer. I can go from a spark of an idea to a formulated plan in the time it takes to get out of my chair. When it comes to getting money for a few hits, it's incredibly frightening how it all works out. It's almost like a reflex reaction rather than a thought out process.

Sharing a few shots of that nasty vodka doesn't slow down the process in the least. As a matter of fact, it does seem to increase the speed of the particular processes in my rewired mind.

So I get $50.00 in no time at all. It's a loan, not a gift from Don. I don't want gifts, or grants or any other form of subsidized funds for my crack research. Besides, it's not a legitimate research project by anyones stretch of the imagination.

So the call is made and the crack is delivered and I close my doors. Shutting out the rest of the world while engaging in a few hours of a chemical vacation.

Things are OK this morning, as plans to do productive things to improve my life are in the cards today.

Probably tomorrow as well.

Well, that's the plan anyway.