Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another year.

For the faint hearted, intellectually aloof or easily bored a typical end of year spew starts now:

And just like a Chinese curse, it's been interesting.

Good things and bad things have happened. Friends have been made and some have been lost. Help has come in many different forms and assistance has been given as often as necessary or possible. Sometimes when it hasn't been necessary as well.

Places were visited that I haven't been to in years and may not get to again for that long again. One place had me grinnin' idiotically inside and out like a kid who was on an E ticket ride at Disney World. Hugs, laughs, tears and hopes were shared with as many as who would accept or give them. Turmoil, beyond the tardiness of drug dealers has been absent in many respects. Hope has been rekindled as well.

New things, both positive and negative were learned. To stop learning is to die and I do my best to try to learn at least one new thing every day. Mistakes were also made and some were corrected if possible. The only way to avoid mistakes is to do nothing. Mistakes are also a valuable learning tool.

Needless to say, I've done a lot and continue to get quite an education.

So, let's see what next year brings.

At this moment though, the slingers have their pre-check, pre-holiday shit available. Tomorrow they'll switch up to mostly soda. It's all about marketing.

OK..For those of you who have read this, for those of you who know and for those of you I hope never know, have a gloriously Happy Fuckinggggg New Year!



No kiddin'!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yesterday was Christmas.

It was a nice day in many respects for me. Hopefully it was for everyone else as well.

I did drink a few beers, had a little wine and smoked the dregs of my stash of MMJ. Got silly, talked a bit of trash and things with neighbors, friends real and online and family that did call. There have been lonely Christmases where there were no calls or visits, so I consider yesterday a good one in very many respects.

So, despite my best efforts to be the hermit, cracks are developing in that scheme.

I also did do things that helped make my Christmas better. Beyond getting tipsy and beyond getting a little stoned, which suck when you are alone, there was a bit of spirit that was missing from my life. See, there is that thing about giving that helped. Past holidays were in many ways excesses in everything, but not for quite awhile. So, you would be surprised what effect a few cheesy and unexpected gifts have on people who had no expectations.

Especially no expectations from the Erie Crackhead.

If you want to feel better, it takes a little work beyond just getting a buzz and it doesn't take a small fortune in cash. The thing is that it would have been a good day without any buzz at all. That was just the icing.

So far as crack is concerned, none yesterday. A bit on Christmas Eve and as a matter of fact there was a bit every day since last Tuesday. More than usual lately, but my rationalization is that it's the holidays and everyone is getting buzzed from something.

Yeah, a rather weak excuse, but sometimes no excuse is necessary to get things rolling.

The new year is now approaching. No resolutions will be made to quit this or to stop that behavior. Just time to look over the where I've been, where do I want to go and tightening up of my plan. Adjusting my perspective is part of that as well. To look at things a bit differently to see what's missing or can be done better, because at times it seems I'm chasing my tail and my focus is lost.

There have been successes though, so...

Better is better.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

People and other things.

Right off the get go though, that refund the bank so graciously refunded me is all puffed up.

Unexpected money that wasn't planned for doesn't get the same attention as regular funds. Regular in that those moneys are earmarked for food, rent, light, internet access and squirreled away for emergencies and other practical uses.

A bit of those reserves are diverted for recreational purposes, but that is a given. Regularly scheduled screw ups are spaced and kept to a minimum. Screw ups may be a bit strong, but that's the view through others eyes. For the moment, the Crackhead just looks at it like another buzz.

Which gets me to people.

I belong to some social networking sites and have been, well Erie Cracker there. A cartoon cutout personality that makes smart ass remarks, manages to get few people to a least laugh a little or scratch their heads. I would like to say that is a facet of who I am, but part of me has it as a compartment of me that is opened on occasion.

At times it's like Monty hall asking, "Do you want door #1, door #2 or door #3."

There are a few out there who might get that joke.

The thing is though, there have been a few who, through some way or another cut away some of that mask and have gotten a glimpse of who I am. Not the Cracker, not Erie Crackhead, but who I am. We're not talking about flowery shit or blowing smoke up my ass type of stuff either. Flattery pisses me off anyway and those bullshit artists are given short shrift.

There are some honest observations that are creepily spot in some regard on in a scary sort of way. Scary as in, if you knew me, you really wouldn't like me. Or if you get to know me and get too close, I'm gonna' chase you away. And it isn't because I don't like a people. Way too often the exact opposite is the truth.

On top of that, if not on that social site when some think I should be causes the phone to ring. Part of that makes me feel good to a degree, and another part is frightened and pressured.

But there are hazards in getting too close.

For them and me.

So, there are comforts and safety in solitude at times. And with me, my crack and I, a lack in feeling has comfort as well.

One other thing. Occasionally I check out the stats for this blog. partly to see if anyone really reads this thing. The other, and this was fascinating, to see where the readers come from. As it turns out a few different places. But one site had a post referring to the blog with the heading, "Who taught crackheads how to blog?"

So hoping to maintain this person's stereotype of crackheads, my response is, "Like all crackheads who blog, I read a book."

Erie Crackhead isn't upset by that question, but he did find it amusing. Be happy I'm blogging and not practicing medicine, like a couple of crackheads I've met.

I'm still working on articulate though...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Comes in many different forms.

To start with, last Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday had me smoking a bit of crack. The amazing thing, but in a sense it's not all that amazing, it was on someone else's dime. The end result was introducing this generous friend to another friend who... I'm not going to paint the whole picture here for you, but you get my drift.

This friend is now able to handle things on their own.

There is part of the whole thing that had my conscience twanging a bit, especially with my "Do no harm to others" position, but this person knows the consequences. Perhaps as well as I do and maybe even better. When a crackhead has a mission in mind, there is little that will turn them away, so this crackhead went with the flow. It is not a good thing and it is not a bad thing.

It's a crackhead thing.

Another part of my plan, which is too discourage smokers from using my home to smoke in was violated to a degree as well. This smoker isn't a hard core street person, has a home, a job and some standing in their community. So I think this will be a rare occurrence. And they didn't drag along other smokers along. The other thing is that their smoking here was a better option as far as their safety was concerned.

I guess that can be looked at as keeping the crackhead and others in their life out of harms way.

Help came in a different vein as well.

An online friend who is very involved in Harm Reduction steered me to an email list for Crack Harm Reduction. This was a blessing tome, as the Erie Crackhead thought he was alone in the wilderness in trying to put together a plan. While the list is not really active in regards to traffic, there is a gold mine of files regarding HR techniques.

The files are reports and studies written by professionals as well as those in my shoes. There is , from all appearances, everything from making a safe homemade pipe to disease avoidance and prevention. This will take some time to get through and may require trips to the library to get it all downloaded into my home computer. Many files are pdf files that tend to make my machine vomit.

I was told that was because of too many visits to porno sites.

Yeah, whatever.

Things that are general public safe may be disseminated here, with permission of course. As mentioned in the past, I am not going to share the mechanics of using in this blog. But I will talk about some things of a social or health nature that might help those with a real interest in helping themselves or others.

Nuts and bolts will be shared privately with online friends in the same position as I.

Lastly, help came from a totally unexpected source. That would be my bank who refunded, what they considered to be excessive overdraft fees. It's not an insignificant amount and it has me working overtime on what should be done with that money.

Do I take the cash and have a pre-check party? Do I squirrel it away for a higher purpose? I kind of think there will be some kind of compromise on the horizon.

Chances are good there will be a bit of a buzz in the next few days. Chances are also good that some jaw harps, kazoos, yo-yos and balsa wood planes will be in some stockings as well. Silly stuff like that sometimes last longer in someone's mind than the latest high tech gadget costing tons more.

One other thing. Don is alive and still has a roof over his head. he managed to get through his own detox without dying. Saturday he said he was going to go to AA. Sunday he was drunk again. He doesn't have enough money to fall too far down the hole again, but we are all keeping our fingers crossed that things are going in the right direction for him.

Be assured though, should he stay sober and try some 12 step shit around here, I'm gonna' kick his ass out the door.

Some behaviors will not be tolerated in this house.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well, this blows.

Crackheads, junkies and even speed freaks are given a bad rep. Mostly because the drugs they and I use are illegal. That in and of itself creates a shadowy and scary stigma about them and their using. The realities of their existences are really no where as bleak as many would like to believe.

Friggin' drunks are another story entirely.

I've known more people who have died from alcohol than all the other substances I have dabbled in over the years. I can't be judgemental, as I have been donkey faced, blacked out, how the fuck did I end up here drunk on more than one occasion. The aversion to that is a small part of what has had me hitting a pipe instead of falling into a bottle. An occasional beer buzz is about my limit in that regard. Well, mostly an occasional beer buzz as out and out blitzed has only happen a couple of times in the past few months.

I've got a preference, you know.

But I am totally mystified why someone would want to be drunk 24/7. If you're never sober, how can you appreciate being tipsy anymore?

Now though memories of a dear friend are coming back up to the surface. We meet in St. Paul MN at a Hazelden halfway house. It was kind of weird but this woman and I struck up a friendship that lasted until she died about a year after we went our separate ways. Just friends who some reason connected because of similarities in our backgrounds, if not our drugs of choice.

She stayed in St. Paul and I went, well everywhere via see America the Rehab Way.

We would talk on the phone often. Usually when she was drunk or getting ready to get drunk. I usually called in a depressed state when I was out of crack and out of money. She even tracked my ass down in the Ramsey County Rubber Room after an unusually crazy run on my part. For my part I 911ed her ass when she threatened to jump out of a window of the St. Paul's Hotel. She escaped to call me, mother fucking me ten different ways, from a dive bar on West 7th. Street.

I can only imagine the looks on that bars patrons as this Martha Freakin' Stewart perfect woman tore me a new asshole from their payphone.

Some of you might have had similar relationships with rehab friends or using buddies. As time went by her calls were less frequent and when they did come they were less coherent.

One day her boyfriend called to tell me he found her dead on the couch. An empty bottle of vodka lay next to her. He called because he knew what kind of friends we were to each other. She left behind two beautiful daughters and a broken hearted ex-husband who followed the Hazelden suggestion of just letting her go.


Why am I bringing all this shit up now?

Because this time I'm getting a front row seat to another drunk trying to drink themselves to death. Yeah, Don is getting way out of control. The problem is that he is a likable guy. Engaging and interesting when he's sober. Stories to tell, experiences I've never had that he relayed to me and was not bad company on more than one occasion.

For the past two weeks he's been too drunk even to come over for coffee in the morning.

Now he's out of money, no hidden stashes of booze that I'm aware of and a landlord who wants to put him on the street. Erie streets are not particularly pretty right now with about a foot or so of snow on the ground and more is falling.

The last couple of days he's been too debilitated to even get out of his bed. Usually when I knock on his door, he's up and greeting me in some fashion. The past couple of days he just hollers for me to come in from his bed. He probably hasn't dressed or showered in over a week.

So as mentioned before, no money, no booze and shortly the shakes are going to overcome him. At the advice of a friend in the D&A business the landlord and I are going to try to get him to a detox. But he still isn't ready yet. Tomorrow or the day after he should be sufficiently shaky to make that decision on his own.

But if he still refuses, there are options.

I hope it doesn't come to that but that option will be used if necessary. The thing is that I really don't want to walk up there some morning and find him dead. Maybe that's selfish on my part, but there has to be a more dignified way to check out of here.

And yes, it's that bad.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Seven Days

Not a hit in a week and that's not bad.

Over that time there was a couple of beer buzzes and a bit of weed was smoked. That helped cravings a little and preserved the little cash I still have on hand. A couple of evenings had some people over for awhile as well.

Company here is almost always welcome. Almost is key here but it was nice to put a real face on someone who I knew only as pixels on a screen. Another person annoyed me a bit with their insistence that I pull up photos of long dead movie starlets, but I'll recover.

I think.

Which brings me to the realization that this place really needs to be cleaned up a bit. Dancing with broom, mop and vacuum cleaner would go a long ways towards making this place a bit more people friendly. So would a bit of dusting and throwing out some miscellaneous crap that tends to accumulate in my small world.

Nothing too toxic, just clutter.

The biggest offender is the laundry, both dirty and clean. With a little effort, I might well have some places for people to sit without having to shift piles of clothes from here to there to over there. Then if more than two people show up, they won't have to stand or sit on the floor.

Hey, the holidays are near so it could happen. Maybe.

The thing is that not hitting the pipe has an effect on my being more aware of my surroundings. A certain amount of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs exists. At least from a house keeping point of view and how I present myself to the rest of the human race. While no Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced bouquet by Hyacinth), it's time to get cleaning and get away from this machine for awhile.

It would be nice though if Heloise and Betty Crocker showed up.

And Better is Better, even if it exhibits itself out in fairly mundane ways.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Because if you don't your gonna' cry.

I don't watch a whole lot of TV. Partly because I don't have cable and reception for free TV is sketchy at times. Partly, and this is the main reason, it's a total waste of time. Even with the amount of time I have you won't often catch me vombiefied staring at the tube.

Well, unless I'm high as hell.

The other night I did catch a bit of an episode of House. There was a character in it who had some deadly almost incurable disease that had his outward expression totally reversed from what he was feeling inside. When given bad or sad news, he would grin like a freakin' idiot.

I've done that many times.

Part may well be that I'm playing poker in a sense. Not wanting to tip my hand or show my cards so that I'm not placed at some sort of disadvantage. Partly a "Keep smiling so they won't know what you're up to," type of ploy to keep people off balance. It's also another part act ignorant and people will scratch their heads and go away type of thing as well.

That part is down pat.

There are those times when acting the fool or making someone else laugh works to get me through my particular funk. It helps for awhile anyway. Getting a buzz from a little weed also helps that mood as well. It often takes the level of discourse right down to the gutter as well.

As I haven't been arrested or shot yet, it's seems to be all good.

The thing is though, not everyone smiling or laughing is truly happy and may well be depressed. At the same time there are those who are crying who really are happy as hell. Sometimes it's easy to get confused. Incongruent reactions keep people off balance.

That's my job and it appears I do it well.

Right now though the Erie Crackhead is neutral so far as happy or sad. Partly because nothing has happened good or bad to anyone I care about. For that matter there are no real issues of major concern are on the horizon either. Not having hit a pipe in four days may well be part of reason.

Four days is no cause to throw a celebratory party, but considering the crack that has been ingested over the past few weeks, this is certainly a good thing. The only person that might be upset by this fact would be my Dude. But he won't be too upset because he knows sooner or later he'll get a call.

Smug mother fucker that he is.

So for awhile it'll be a few beers, maybe a little wine and a bit of smoke. Self medication to improve my attitude and keep the rest of you wondering what is really up.

When I finally figure what is really up myself, you all will be close to the first know.

As if...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What is Harm Reduction

The following is from the Harm Reduction Network gives an overview of Harm Reduction. While there isn't a Harm Reduction Plan for crack cocaine as such, these are some of the tools that are the basis of my efforts.


Harm reduction is about reducing the health, social, and economic harms to individuals, communities, and society of high risk behaviors such as drinking alcohol, using drugs, etc.

Harm Reduction Is Pragmatic:
Harm reduction addresses alcohol use and alcohol intoxication with realistic, commonsense strategies that have been proven to work. Harm reduction emphasizes practical solutions that can be implemented in real life over idealistic impossibilities. Harm reduction recognizes that perfectionism is often the enemy of the good. Harm reduction recognizes that people choose to drink alcohol or to become intoxicated because they perceive certain benefits which accompany the risks of drinking alcohol. Harm reduction focuses on minimizing alcohol related harms rather than attempting to eliminate alcohol use or alcohol intoxication altogether. Harm reduction recognizes that it is possible to have a far greater positive impact by getting a large number of people to make small changes than by getting only a few people to make large changes.

Harm Reduction Respects Individuality:
Harm reduction recognizes that there are an infinite number of differences between individuals in terms of their personal values systems, their experiences, their environments, and even their physiologies. Harm reduction "meets people where they are at" with their alcohol consumption and recognizes that each individual needs to choose for him or herself what sorts of changes he or she wishes to make in his or her alcohol use--if any. Harm reduction affirms the idea of "different strokes for different folks" and supports any positive change. Harm reduction recognizes that only the individual can decide if his or her best goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting altogether. Not only is the individual best qualified, it is an inherent human right of the individual to make this choice for him or herself. Harm reduction is compassionate and humanistic. Harm reduction is nonjudgmental and always respects the rights and choices of the individual.

Harm Reduction Focuses On Risks And Prioritizes Goals:
Harm reduction recognizes that some alcohol related risks are worse than others and seeks to help individuals to prioritize risks and find strategies to avoid them. Harm reduction seeks to encourage people to follow goals which are achievable rather than to demand an impossible level of perfection. Harm reduction seeks to help people recognize and prioritize the reduction of the highest risk behaviors first.

Harm Reduction Recognizes That Alcohol Consumption Exists On A Continuum:
Harm reduction recognizes that there are a wide range of drinking behaviors which range from severe abuse to total abstinence. Harm reduction acknowledges that some ways of using alcohol are clearly safer than others. Harm reduction recognizes that the distinction between an "alcoholic" and a "non-alcoholic" is a false dichotomy for behaviors which lie on a continuum.

Harm Reduction Is Tolerant And Accepting:
Harm reduction recognizes that prohibitionist strategies can often backfire and increase harm rather than reducing it, therefore harm reduction concentrates on reducing or eliminating harms rather than on prohibiting behaviors. Harm reduction recognizes that successful abstinence is a great way to eliminate harm, but that coerced abstinence often backfires and results in worsened behaviors and increased harm. Harm reduction offers realistic options for those who are unable or unwilling to quit alcohol altogether. Harm reduction let's people forgive themselves and move on with life rather than beat themselves up with guilt and shame.

Harm Reduction Is About Empowerment
Harm reduction recognizes that the individual drinker is the primary agent of positive change. Harm reduction groups seek to empower the individual to improve his or her life and do not seek to empower the group at the expense of the individual. Research shows that people who believe that they are capable of making changes are the most successful at doing so. This is referred to as self-efficacy. Harm reduction empowers people to make changes which they choose for themselves.

Harm Reduction Is Not The Opposite Of Quitting
Harm reduction is supportive of individual choice. Harm reduction recognizes that some people find that their best option is to quit alcohol altogether and harm reduction is 100% supportive of the choice to abstain." Copyright 2010 The HAMS Harm Reduction Network.

With all that said, it should be noted that harder work in some areas are required by me. But like also mentioned, it is like golf. Adjustments to the plan, or reinforcing some things is always required.

At least by me...