Thursday, March 23, 2006

You Gotta Love Tampa!

My first morning back in Tampa, I pick up the Trib to check out the local news. An interesting article catches my eye. It seems that a Tampa man asked some police officers who were checking out a local burglary to 'test his crack pipe' to make sure he was being sold real crack. And, always happy to help out a citizen in distress, they did.

TAMPA - One minute a pair of Tampa police officers were trying to catch a couple of loose dogs Tuesday morning, the next they were fielding a unique request from a man.

Would they test his crack pipe to make sure he was getting the real thing? According to an arrest affidavit, Phillip Williams wasn't convinced he was being sold actual crack cocaine. So about 11:15 a.m., he approached Officers Wayne Easley and Gary Filippone to verify he was getting real drugs.

He was.

The officers tested the pipe, which, sure enough, had cocaine residue. Williams, who is listed on jail records as a security worker at MacDill Air Force Base, was arrested.

Easley and Filippone were investigating a burglary at 1304 E. 15th Ave. They had arrested someone and were trying to corral the dogs when Williams walked up, crack pipe in hand, the affidavit states.

He showed them a yellow house where he said people were doing drugs, and he kept asking the officers to test his glass pipe. He told them he didn't think he was getting real crack, according to the affidavit.

When Williams grabbed Easley's police vest, the officers put him in handcuffs. Then they obliged his request. The pipe was booked into evidence. Williams was taken to Orient Road Jail, where he was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Go Tampa!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Chit-Chattin' In The Chemo Room - Part 2

Well, here I am back in Tampa. I'm enjoying the peace and glad to be hanging out with my dad. We went back to the chemo infusion center yesterday to start his new round of chemo - fortunately, they have some great new medicines that make chemo much less debilitating than it used to be, and while it's certainly no picnic, he's doing all right.

So we're sitting in the chemo room watching TV, reading the paper or whatever. The "Tony Danza Show" was about to commence when we were suddenly interrupted by a 'special news event'. Yes, it was the Chimperor himself, in fine form, just gibbering away. With a noticeably petulant whine, he kept insisting that all was well. I sat there, slack-jawed with astonishment as lie after lie squirted from his pie-hole. Since I was among strangers, I couldn't very well scream at the TV, but it took all my social conditioning (which isn't too damn much) to keep silent, limiting myself to eye rolls, heavy sighs and grimaces. There was a glimmer of sunshine when Helen Thomas opened up a can of whoop-ass on him, but he just flat-out could not answer her. Bet that's the last time he calls on her!

He basically told us that, as long as he's Resident, we'll be in Iraq. That's the way he likes it. He's been treating this country like his personal toilet bowl, dumping on us constantly, and forgetting (or refusing) to flush. Then, when he's finished playing G.I. Joes, he'll walk away and leave the backed-up, overflowing toilet for the next guy to clean up.

Bush seems to have another softball pitcher - Carl somebody. Carl Gannon, I think. Whoever he is, he was sounding extremely Guckerty. I had to leave the room once he began sucking up to the Resident. My self-control only goes so far. Normally I don't watch Bush on TV for that very reason, but I was in a semi-public place with no control over the set.

At long last, he quit babbling. I never thought I would say this, but I was actually glad to see "The Price Is Right" come on afterward. The relative dignity and maturity of the show helped my blood pressure ease off a couple of notches. Imagine being happy to see that crusty old letch Bob Barker. A thousand years old, and orange as an orangutan from all that pancake they slather on him (or is it embalming fluid?), but at least he can string a sentence together.

One thing you can say about Bush - he makes daytime television look good.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


I'm tired.

Still recuperating from the blitzkreig that was my January and February, I find that, once I stopped moving at the speed of light, it's very difficult to resume any kind of motion at all.

I can do what I have to do - take care of the kids, teach my classes, go to my gigs, pay the bills that keep things turned on. Anything else seems beyond me at this point. Friday being my day off from school, I said to myself. "Once I get the kids off to school, I can get some stuff done! I can work on my blog, update my band's website, put the old food in the refrigerator up for adoption, organize my bedroom, do laundry, finally go to Weight Watchers like I promised my doctor" - on and on I went. Then, I laid back down in my bed and went to sleep. It seems all I can do right now without being forced is read, sleep and eat.

I spent a few days last week at the mall while I waited for the newly-consolidated AT&T/SBC/Yahoo/Pacbell merger-monopoly to be good and ready to give me back my DSL. The mall has wireless access for $3 a day, as opposed to $tarbucks' $10. It's only when I go to the mall that I'm confronted with the reality of my weight - when I walk past all the shops with their cute clothes and realize that I can fit into none of them - that they are completely off-limits to me. Most of the time I'm too busy to actively worry about my weight. But at the mall I feel cut off from the mainstream. Not that there isn't anything that will fit - there's a perfectly lovely Lane Bryant at the far end of the mall. But, no matter what I put on, I will still look exactly like what I am - an overweight, middle-aged matron. I am not inclined to spend any kind of money on that, and Lane Bryant is not cheap.

I have never learned to dress cute big. I see all kinds of really attractive big girls who have it all together - the hair, the makeup, the clothes. Not me. Before I had kids, I loved clothes. Not expensive clothes, but fun clothes - I could indulge myself in the stuff I wore on stage, and dress as eclectically as I liked. Between thrift shops, vintage shops, and sales, I had a pretty nice wardrobe. But that sort of thing looks ridiculous on me at my weight now. My present goal is merely coverage. I am the most comfortable in a long black burqa-like shift dress that I made to wear in Bali when we played at the Hard Rock Hotel there and they asked us to wear all black. I feel as if my presence onstage is a liability to my band - even though I sing and play fine, part of the job description is appearance, and that's just a fact. The up side of it is that I am judged on what I do, and if I'm complimented on that, it's real. I don't have to wonder if it's bulls*** because they like my looks. In fact, that is one of the overall pluses to being out of the loop appearance-wise. It makes you invisible to the bulls***ers, and since I'm very happily married and not flirtatious by nature, I'm not looking for that kind of attention.

Still, the health issue is starting to bug me. I'm very strong from having carried heavy keyboards and amplifiers since I was 15, but now I'm at the age where things are starting to hurt, and since it is seldom that I am availed of a roadie, lugging my gear around is getting harder. My doctors are wanting me to get rid of the weight, and I know I'd feel so much better if I did (not to mention how much fun it would be to wear the clothes that i've still kept in the hopes of one day fitting into them again). But right now, my lassitude and lethargy are keeping me from doing anything so strenuous as attending to my health. I'll be going back to Florida to hang out with my dad in a couple of days - being worried about him isn't helping my overall state of mind either. Maybe a change of scenery can jog something loose and get me moving again. I'm at least writing something today, which is an improvement over the last few weeks. I will attempt to get back into commentary soon if I can get any two brain cells to rub together again.

But for now, I think I'll take another nap, just because I can.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


My Internet has been down for some time - when it's back up I will resume ranting. As it is, I am ranting to myself.

Rant rant rant.