Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Becoming A Man

I recently got four compact discs:

Carla Thomas - Sugar late 60s-early 70s Stax recordings from the rhythm and blues sensation collected for the first time on CD

Yma Sumac - The Sun Virgin a collection of exotic lounge music from the Inca Princess on my favorite music label, Living Era

New Seekers - I'd LIke To Teach The World To Sing a re-issue of the 1973 album featuring the title tune and their hit cover of Melanie's The Nickel Song

The Editors - B Sides and Rarities 5 excellent songs on one extended play that tops the British band's full-length players in quality and listenability

When I got home, I immediately played I'd LIke to Teach the World to Sing. Memories came to the fore as I remembered how I sang this song at my Bar Mitzvah. A Bar Mitzvah is a Jewish rite of passage in which a boy becomes a man. My family, being Long Island Jews, threw a huge party. Anyone who was anyone was there: the Goldbergs, the Goldsteins, the Goldschmidts, the other Goldbergs.

My Bar Mitzvah was the first place I sang in public. Not only did I have to sing the Haftorah (a Hebrew rite of passage prayer) during the Saturday morning temple service but I also practiced for weeks so I could sing I'd Like to Teach The World To Sing with the band at the Saturday evening party. Saturday morning finally arrived and I was so nervous that, in temple, I sang my Haftorah to the tune of I'd Like to Teach The World To Sing.

But, Saturday night I got a standing ovation when, in a blue velvet tuxedo, I sang I'd Like to Teach The World To Sing in Mishnaic Hebrew with a disco beat provided by the Bar Mitzvah band.

So that's how this Jew became a man - by teaching the world to sing. Though judging from what's been going on lately I'm not so sure I'd like to do that again.

And now check out the real thing:

Yea. It all started as a commercial and turned into a pop phenom:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

420 @ 5000'

When I first moved to Denver, I drove from my real home in California, bringing with me the belongings of a lifetime. I knew no one in the Mile High City and I needed the relief that one gets from familiarity. I had enough to make me happy. I was good.

Two months later the realization came that one thing I had brought with me was, in fact, finite. So it was time to start finding a place to purchase marijuana. I began searching the internet for a resource. Everything is on the internet these days.

buy pot Denver I typed into Google and clicked through to a Yahoo group made up of people with ties to the medical marijuana movement. I honed in on the Denver chapter and called a doctor to find out what I needed to have. Fortune shined, in an ironic way, because I had none of the maladies that allowed me to register for a medical marijuana card.

420 sales Denver Every year on April 20, Denver celebrates marijuana freedom downtown in Civic Center Park. Cool. But this was August. I'm gonna wait for April?

420 park Denver Another posting in another group invited the city of Denver to a birthday party. Hmmm. It seems that, with some additional investigation, the celebrant was known in Colorado politics for his stance on marijuana freedom. He had run for Governor. He was throwing himself a birthday party in City Park, 5 blocks from where I lived.The sure-to-be-a-smoke-in had been three weeks prior but the man had added his telephone number to his signature.

It took me three weeks to call the number.

Hi. Is this Ken Gorman?


Hi Ken. You don't know me and I don't know if this is inappropriate or anything but I found the invitation to your party on the internet. I'm new in Denver and I was looking for some place to buy weed? Would you know of anyone?

Well I am a caregiver.

A caregiver?

I sell marijuana to patients. Are you sick?

Well, no. I'm not sick.

There's nothing wrong with you? I wake up in the morning my lower back hurts. And my knees hurt sometimes.

So you have chronic pain.

Chronic...? I don't think it... um...yes, I can say I have chronic pain.

Come on over.

Come on over? Now?

Yea, you can sign the Colorado state form designating me as your primary caregiver. Then I can sell you weed for chronic pain.

Oh...uh...OK. Is it the Decatur Street address on the invitation.

Same place.

OK. I'll be right over.

When I arrived I showed Ken my California driver's license and filled out a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Medical Marijuana Registry form giving Ken status as my primary caregiver.

What about a doctor's note?

Here's the form for your doctor to fill out. When he fills it in and signs it bring it back. In the meantime I'll stamp it that we are awaiting doctor's approval.

And Ken took out a big old rubber stamp and inked the top of the form:


I walked out with the stamped doctor's form, an ounce of primo, the knowledge that my name and my neighbor's address were on file in this man's paper filing system, and gleeful in the fact that I, for the first time in my life, did not have to rely on a friend to get pot for me. I finally had my own dealer.

Time passed. My partner got sober. (Alcohol.) And in a spasm of sisterly generosity I did also. (To a point.) So I didn't visit Ken as much.

Six months passed and I heard on the news that Ken was killed by an intruder in the same house that I had been visiting. CBS-4 News ran a story on Ken in which they had divulged his address. The following week someone broke into the house, killed Ken and stole the money. The killer is still on the loose.

Ken, in point of fact, was my first friend in Denver. He was a bigwig in the marijuana freedom community and local and state politics. And he was my drug dealer.

They had a candlelight memorial for Ken in Cheesman Park. I listened to Revelations by Yoko Ono (as remixed by Cat Power on Yes, I'm A Witch) as I drove to the vigil and cried uncontrollably. It was more than I had cried for my grandfather.

Spring came and I got my chance to scope out the 420 celebration at Civic Center Park. Cops were everywhere. No one was smoking openly and I couldn't just walk up to someone and ask if they had a connection for me. The year before 4/20 had been a party. It was - I saw the video on the internet. But, of course, Denver had just passed Initiative S-100 legalizing 1 ounce or less of pot in the city and the cops had to prove something. A day late and a dollar short.

As I was walking back to my car I saw three twenty-somethings sitting behind a Wells Fargo Bank sign doing the doob. I wrestled within myself about what I should do and, after a lot less time than it had previously taken me to pick up the telephone, I went to them and asked the all important question.

Do you have a connection in Denver that I can use? I'm not a serial killer or cop or anything. I'm a technical writer. Here's my business card. I just moved here and I know no one.

After some chit chat they deemed I was worthy and Cara, the girl holding the joint, gave me her cell and told me to call her that night. Her boyfriend was a dealer. When I called, Cara gave me an address and told me to come over. I bought an ounce from her boyfriend Chris who then gave me his cell phone number. Leaving Chris's house, I knew I had another dealer and hopefully this one wouldn't die. I didn't have the need to call Chris often but every time I did I wondered if he would remember me. Ultimately, it didn't matter because what was to be the last time I called him, he told me he didn't sell anymore.

sell pot Denver On The Stoner's Forum I saw that a small group was having a get together in a month. Hmm? And if that didn't work out it would be April 20 again.

buy weed Denver On We Be High, I found gold.

Where to buy marijuana in Denver: Civic Center Park, immediately west of Broadway, in-between Colfax and 14th Avenue Parkway. Don't bother at night, nobody will be there to sell except for opportunistic rip-off artists. But, if it's daytime 7-days a week and there isn't a summertime festival going on then you are good-to-go.

Oh, man. This type of thing is forever. As one merchant gets older or leaves or moves higher up in the organization (I watch The Wire), another takes his place. So I went to Civic Center Park (where it began on 4/20) wearing my Montana t-shirt, in the hopes that the shirt would mean something to the mysterious dealer. It didn't take long for three men to spot me.


I hadn't thought of searching that word. I drooled.

I got dime bags. And wipe your mouth.

I only have a twenty.

He points his finger to his friend. We nod and I took the twenty out of my back packet (surreptitiously placed there while dressing) and placed it in his hand - getting a feeling that he had to have the money in his hand before he would let go of the weed. He then dropped two small bags in my hand.


I walked away. No hassles. No interference. Plain, simple cash/merchandise transaction. This is the perfect purchase for someone who wants to smoke once in a while. It's like a liquor store on the corner that's been there for years but you're not an alcoholic.

Which brings up my desire to promote marijuana freedom. Having marijuana illegal costs the government millions in potential tax revenue. Think about what this revenue will do to offset the chunk of change we're losing on the Iraq War. (Hit them in their pocketbooks.) Marijuana freedom! Yea!!

Oh, please don't forward this entry to my mother. You're a doll.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I took out the pink wig...

...and made a music video.

It's a multimediacal (sic) mashup of the Patsy Cline chestnut Crazy and the phenomenom that is Britney Spears. Ms. Spears might think she invented the pink wig but, in fact, I was wearing it long before her.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I'm 50 and I like to kick!

Well not quite.

But today is the FIRST day of my 50th year so I'm sharing my thoughts on it by embedding Miss Sally O'Malley and her thoughts on it, asserted during her audition to dance with the Rockettes.