Gypsies & Stick Shifts

When I was a kid, my cousin Mark and I were playing in my grandparents’ yard. While we crashed our bikes into trees or played Land of the Lost, a woman walked onto the front porch and knocked on the door. She spoke to my gram for a little bit, then left.

So we both ran into the house.

“Who was that lady?” we asked, breathlessly.

“It was the woman from the adoption agency,” my mother replied, matter-of-factly. (Though I am sure she will deny this, it is true, trust me.)

“What’d she want?” we asked, a bit scared now.

“Well, if you two don’t behave, she’s coming back to pick you up.”

Horror! Read More

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Pharma Voodoo & Frankenfoods

Checked out an article posted on FB by my friend Cheryl — In a nutshell, it’s about the fact that a healthy diet can reverse all sorts of ailments. No shit.

The HuffPo article talks about a severely diabetic woman who literally turned her health around through a plant-based diet.

According to author John Robbins, the great whole foods guru:

The physicians she was seeing for her diabetes took a look at her numbers, were amazed, and wanted to know how she did it. “I told them I had adopted a completely plant-based diet. They didn’t seem surprised at all, and told me that plant-based diets were helping to reverse diabetes. When I asked why they had not suggested it, they told me because it isn’t practical.”

Aghast, she asked her doctor, “Do you think it’s practical to be 30 years old and lose a leg?”

She walked out of that doctor’s office and never went back. “Everything changed from that moment,” she recalls. “I slowly decreased all the other diabetes medicines I was on. I lowered my blood cholesterol without drugs. I lowered my blood pressure without drugs. I corrected my hormonal problems without drugs. Many diabetics go blind, but I reversed the nerve damage in my eyes. And that infection in my leg? It completely healed. The arthritis in my feet? It went away.”

Ironically, this sort-of ties into an absolute rage-fest I had last week. Read More

Not-So-Tall Tales of a So-Called Wild Child, v1

It apparently snowed last night. You wouldn’t know it – it’s just wet and rainy now. Sort of feels like summer in San Francisco! I think I spent six months soaking wet, riding through puddles halfway up the bike rims. It was El Ninõ, and being a messenger in that kind of stuff makes you feel invincible, but soggy.

Of course, that was before unionization, so you had to ride or you had no money, no matter what got in your way. I got hit by six cars, and each and every time I got back up and kept delivering somebody’s divorce papers, or contracts, or whatever was so important it had to be there a.s.a.p.

I remember riding in an elevator with a woman, probably a few years older than me, maybe the same age, who can tell? Most of the suits ignored us, moved as far away as possible so as not to get the city streets and sweat on their thousand-dollar suits.

“I used to be like you,” she said, turning to talk to me.

“Really?” I asked, curious.

“Yeah, I was a messenger for a while, but now…” she looked down. You could tell she’d rather be huffing fumes up and down Market than sitting in some cush office.

“It’s the best job in the world,” I said, and I meant it. Of course, the unsaid sentiment was that it was also the worst, like living a manic-depressive episode ten hours a day. Read More

Was J-School Worth It?

Interesting HuffPo piece to mention: dude writes about getting a journalism school – or, j-school – master’s degree and whether or not it’s worth it.

I read it, thought it was okay, if a bit short of much more than personal stuff, and then started thinking.

“Sooo, am I glad I got my j-school master’s?” I asked myself.

Well, let’s see – there’s the stuff in the piece, and its comments, about going to this or that school and therefore having connections. Yeah, I got connections, lots of ‘em, with my fancy Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications piece o’ paper, which currently resides in storage, incidentally, along with the equally schmancy BFA from SFAI.

Thing is, the news industry has changed so much – far worse than anyone could’ve imagined – that if I’d ever gone to school, undergraduate, graduate or otherwise, with the thought of the big bucks shining in me peepers, I obviously got it very wrong. Read More