Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A little something about sapo/kambo frog medicine

On a FB page I am associated with, people were discussing the use of saliva versus water for moistening the frog medicine. i was going to stay out until someone put my name in there and asked what i thought. This is what I wrote:

In my experience with the Matsés. only a strong person would serve the medicine, and their saliva included their spirit, so that the recipient was getting the medicine along with the strong spirit of the server. Same with nü-nü; the person blowing the medicine into you was sharing part of themselves with their breath. Of course, in these current times it is probably better to serve yourself or use your own saliva. But I'll be getting back to tradition as soon as I feel it safe enough.

Someone responded to that with a question about how I actually mixed the medicine. This is what I wrote:

For mixing, I put a little saliva (very clean, freshly brushed teeth, a gargle with a mouth wash, a small bit of agua florida, then a little water and then wait 10 minutes--no hocking loogies!) on a cleared spot on the stick, then, with a very sharp knife run that over a tiny bit of the medicine to moisten it, then scrape that moistened medicine into the saliva on the stick. Mix well and there you have it. i do understand some people have issues with this method of application. But it is the only way I do it. I always have a song to sing and a few ministrations to do before I mix and serve the medicine to make certain I am centered, clear, and strong enough to do the work required -- which is exhausting.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Age if Aquarius

 Singing: I don't know much about history, don't know much about geography, but I do know that I love you.... I don't know anything about anything except that I am running on an empty I cannot explain. Little eating and sleeping for near two weeks now. Need to rest every 20 steps. Two huge projects, a cookbook and a musical that could be finished in a month but have not had the strength to work on them for a month. Gonna get tested tomorrow. But more importantly tonight starts the age of Aquarius. Coming is a time of peace. Coming is an age of decency. The birth has been a difficult one. The last thousand years has seen Pisces fight against itself. Now comes the change. I will be part of it. I hope you all will be part of it as well. Good luck, everybody.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Cooking in the Kitchen


So there I was: Three days I did not want to cook, just because. Maybe the first three day stint of not cooking for my kids since they were born. Made macaroni salad to go with the fresh Corned beef and pastrami I bought at Carshon's Deli in Fort Worth (with egg bread and fresh rye), the other day, and made a rice side for something a couple of days ago, but basically was too freaking depressed to cook.
Today I woke differently: I wanted to sweep, mop, pick up stray garbage from the road that had found my place, get rid of cobwebs in the house, do laundry and that sort of thing. And for dinner I was gonna make my semi-famous Lime Chicken (buy the cookbook cause that recipe is worth the price of admission). But I realized that my son-in-law, Adrian, had bought an extra pound of Virginia ham the other day, and we had really good Swiss cheese, so I switched to Chicken Cordon Bleu. Cut pockets in the large half-breasts of chicken, stuffed them with chopped Swiss and Virginia ham, then breaded and seared them and tossed them in the oven where they are currently cooking at 325º.
Normally, you would make a mushroom-Marsala sauce with those babies, but I don't have mushrooms. What I do have is some refrigerated and still-fresh homemade cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving and some Marsala wine and a bit of heavy cream so I am going to make a Cranberry-Cream-Marsala sauce and it is going to be innovative and fantastic.
Remember that when you are in the kitchen, you are supposed to play. That keeps it interesting and makes it fun.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Rock 'n Roll


Rock n Roll
Not sure how it came up but while I was driving today with my friend Adrien, the subject of rock 'n roll encounters came up. I told him I didn't have many but did have a few good ones. My first was with my absolute favorite, Al Kooper. I'd seen a show of his at the Cafe Au GoGo in New York — it was located in a basement in Greenwich Village — and after the show he was hanging around. He was playing with The Blues Project at the time, which I thought was an incredible band, and so I walked up to him and offered him a joint. He suggested we smoke it together. He told me the story of playing the organ, unexpectedly, for Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone, and some others. Man, I thought I was in the presence of greatness.
Later, just being in New York City, ran into Art Garfunkle, Dave Crosby, and Rod Stewart, among others. For each I just thanked them for the music but didn't have any longer contact.
I do have a good Rod Stewart story, however. My friend Philip B, with whom I shared a tenement apartment on 76th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues in Manhattan, had gone to California, and one of the things he was going to do was see a Rod Stewart show as a guest of the great photographer Annie Liebovitz, after which Philip had been invited by Annie to come to the place where she was staying and planned to shoot Stewart for a Rolling Stone cover.
I left for California a couple of days after Phil, hitchhiking out west and came in a few hours late for the show and shoot. Phil came in a few hours after I got to the place he was staying, and told me that Annie sort of hated him. I asked why. He said that after hellos and such, Annie went to another room to get what she needed for the shoot, and told Stewart to get comfortable in African fan-back wicker chair. Phil said that Stewart sat in it and began to lounge comfortably in the big chair.
But Phil knew that Annie had used the chair once before and said he could not resist telling Stewart that he looked great in the Ian Anderson chair. Anderson, of course, was the founder of Jethro Tull and had been on the cover of Rolling Stone in that same chair.
Phil said that Stewart, on hearing that he was sloppy seconds, almost had a heart attack, and then ran out of the house, so that when Annie came back into the room, her model had fled.
I was later at Annie L's loft in New York and on one of the walls was a strip of small photos, maybe eight or 12 of them. They were pics of Janis Joplin taking off her blouse and showing off her breasts but they were private and Annie did not publish them to the best of my knowledge. Of course she might have and I am just in the dark.
A few years later I was working for Chris Blackwell, helping build both Island Records Grove Street townhouse (meant for visiting Island record musicians) and Island's large Carnegie Hall office/studio location. I was actually working for Danny B, Phil's brother, who often hired Phil and I near the end of big jobs to sort of tidy up the work his real crew had done. We'd worked one of the Kennedy houses on, I think 63rd Street off 3rd Ave, and then Oscar De La Renta's house almost next door and James Schlesinger (CIA Director, Secretary of Defense for Nixon and Ford, among other things, a spook's spook) across from the Kennedy house.
One day at the Carnegie Hall gig I was on my knees at the door, cleaning up the paint at the cut of the floor molding near the door to the complex. In walked Bob Marley with Peter Tosh and some other fellas. Marley accidently stepped on my foot, which was stretched out behind me while I was on my knees. He immediately apologized and offered me a hit of a fat joint they were smoking.
Probably earlier than that, Dan B used Phil and myself for similar work at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland Studios on 8th street in the Village, where we helped glue up the famous bathroom montage Danny B designed, and I got to work building Jimi's bed. I only met him once because he left for Europe and died. But Phil and I did get to see Led Zepplin recording there through the thick glass windows of a studio. They stopped a song to come out and ask who the hell we were any why we were starting at them.
Years later, maybe 12-15 years ago, I was at home here in bucolic Joshua, Texas, when I got a call one evening. It was from a woman asking if it would be okay if Carlos Santana gave me a call. I said sure but thought it was a prank.
A few minutes later Santana did call. After I went all effusive-fan on him he said he'd seen a story I did about a pot magazine in Chile for High Times a couple of years earlier. He said he and the band were going to Chile and needed a lot of marijuana from a good source, a good driver to show them around, and could I arrange those two things.
Man, I adored Santana's music and to have him come to me for a favor was freaking fantastic. Took about 4 calls to get it all arranged by we worked it out.
Anyway, that is my little history of contact with the world of rock 'n roll. I'm sure there is more — like catering a private party for the Talking Heads and the B-52s, or working with Sting on a project he was doing in Amzonia — but I can't think of many more this minute.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

A note on Ayahuasca

 My friend, Steve Bloom, who owns and runs the website Celebstoner.com and was my compatriot at High Times for nearly 20 years, asked me to write a short thing on ayahuasca to go along with a piece he had on Miley Cyrus talking about it's effect on her life. Here is what I gave him:

Curved Papers

Miley Cyrus Calls Ayahuasca 'One of My Favorite Drugs'

Miley Cyrus (image via Rolling Stone) and pot full of vines and leaves that will become ayahuasca when cooked.

Miley Cyrus is sober these days, but she tells Rolling Stone:

"I would possibly take mushrooms. I did take ayahuasca, and I really liked that, but I really don't think I would do it again."

Cyrus goes on to explain:

"Ayahuasca was definitely one of my favorite drugs I’ve ever done. When I did it, I asked everyone else in the room, 'Did your entire life just change? Are you a new person?' They all looked at me and said, 'No.' And they’re like, 'You’re so extreme. Of course you have to have the most extreme trip off all.' Actually, the shaman said people take ayahuasca three, four times, sometimes 30 times before they have the kind of trip I had. I saw the snakes right away, and the snakes come and grab you and take you to the Mama Aya, and she walks you through your whole trip, and it was pretty crazy. I loved it, though."

Named CelebStoner of the Year in 2013, Cyrus smoked marijuana in public everywhere she could, including at award shows. But by 2017, the pop star stopped using it and knocked potheads.

"I like to surround myself with people that make me want to get better, more evolved, open. And I was noticing, it's not the people that are stoned. I want to be super clear and sharp, because I know exactly where I want to be."

Cyrus tells Rolling Stone she fell off the wagon during the pandemic and began drinking again. But no drugs. "Haven't done drugs in years," she says. "It would have to be a cold day in hell for me to relapse on drugs." It's unclear which drugs she's referring and whether Cyrus even considers marijuana a drug.

Peter Gorman pilots a boat near Iquitos, Peru.

A Few Words About Ayahuasca

By Peter Gorman

We asked enthogenic plants expert Peter Gorman for his thoughts about ayahuasca. He sent us this reply.

Ayahuasca is a traditional tool for divination used throughout much of the Amazon jungle, particularly in the Northwest regions. It's a brew made by combining ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) with chacruna (Psychotria viridis, a plant in the coffee family) or huambisa (Diplopterys cabrerena) infused with the smoke of regional black tobacco, in river water. It's known by a host of names - yajé and natem among them - depending on which indigenous group is talking about it.

As a tool in the hands of a medicine man or woman, it allows the user, a curandero or curandera, to divine whether the medicine person’s village is about to be attacked, or when it was the right time to attack other villages, as well as when it was time to plant foods and so forth.

But ayahuasca also lets the user interact with the spirit world, allowing them to get in touch with dead relatives or ancients, and to connect with the spirits of plants to divine how to heal illnesses. It's also used by riveriños - people who live on the river - to divine who's bringing them bad luck with their crops or with love, who's giving them the evil eye and so forth.

"I’ve always thought of ayahuasca as three years of psychotherapy in a three-hour dream."

The Western world began a fascination with ayahuasca in the late 1980s, much of it due to the work of Terence McKenna and his brother Dennis. The central point of that fascination is Iquitos, Peru, which currently has several dozen lodges specializing in serving the medicine.

In much of Amazonia, it's typical of river people to reach out to a curandero or curandera and present them with their problems. The medicine person then drinks the ayahuasca, goes to another level of reality and contacts friendly spirits there who provide answers to the user’s questions. Westerners have turned that model on its head by insisting on drinking the ayahuasca along with the medicine person serving it.

As popular as ayahuasca has become it's unlikely to catch on as a club drug because most people drink it spend a good portion of the ceremony vomiting up the bile of their lives in an uncontrollable manner.

The ceremony is generally done at night, in darkness, lasting from three to five hours. The participants sit in a semi-circle around the person serving, who chants and shakes a bundle-leaf rattle throughout the ceremony as an anchor to the people drinking.

Users find that it treats all sorts of illnesses, from PTSD to chronic stomach ailments, that it frequently allows a person to glimpse what they describe as the divine, or life force of the universe, and that it can reset a person’s life by bringing up and eliminating painful and debilitating memories. I’ve always thought of it as three years of psychotherapy in a three-hour dream.

Gorman is author of Ayahuasca  in My Blood and the subject of the documentary More Joy Less Pain. He leads ayahuasca tours several times a year.

Trump Dementia

 A friend of mine is a Trumpster. When she writes I have to contradict her. Today she claimed that I have never produced exact points to prove my point. So I gave her this round up:

He left our allies, the Kurds, to be slaughtered when he sent our military to protect Iraq's oil. He is leaving Yemen and Somalia to be slaughtered without our military training. He has dropped twice the number of drone bombs that Obama did while pretending to be disengaged from foreign engagements. he has sold more military death equipment to the mid-east than any previous president. He ignored Putin putting a bounty on our soldiers with the Taliban. He has overseen the worst pandemic in 100 years in this country with joyfulness as our friends have died from it. HE has overseen the worst depression this country has ever had and joyfully rolls in the suffering of citizens. He has had millions and millions of dollars directed to his golf courses, hotels and so forth, completely against the law. He promised infrastructure and never gave a hint at what that would be. He promised to bring jobs home but kept his own factories in China and lost millions of jobs here through his inane trade misques. He promised to give us healthcare but has not bothered with that. He has spent billions on a total of a new "WALL' with Mexico which totals six miles but has lined his friends pockets with billions. He has rolled back restrictions on clean water and air, he had claimed that windmills cause cancer and kill millions of birds. HE IS, in short, a madman. You want to get into this, I'll be glad to go toe to toe.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Being Afraid of Something

Okay, so most of you probably heard this before, so just shut it down. Cause I am gonna complain a little. I am 69, going on 70 in two months or so and I am terrified. I have never been afraid of anything in my life. Let's amend that to say I have not been terrified of most things in my life. That's better and more honest. I have always been afraid of Chris Barker, who wanted to kill me for dating Diane Z when she was his high school girlfriend, but I did not know that.
Okay, so I have been afraid some times. But not so much. I walked across the Peruvian Amazon to brazil a few times, I hitchhiked 50,000 miles in the USA, been to India, Morocco, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and so forth and not been afraid. I've been bitten by a bushmaster snake, a coral snake, an anaconda and not been afraid. I've been bitten by botflies, poisonous ants, bullet ants, vampire bats, and a Braziliaqn wandering spider, the most poisonous spider in the world, and not been afraid. I have had my intestines rupture, flesh eating bacteria twice and was not afraid. I raised three kids and was terrified. That is the exception.
But I am going into my third surgery in a month on Tuesday and I am scared as shit. What if they keep me for a week or two like they did a year ago or in February? What if there is something wrong that I don't know? And then I see kidney doctors three days later, on Friday and what is up with that? Shit, I find myself frightened after living a daring life mostly without fear. Damnit!!!

 I followed up that post with this a few days later:

Well, I bored you all with my irrational fear of hospitals and doctor visits because of how many I have had in the last several years, most of them costing me money and causing me pain, which is why I don't like them.
So today I hyperventilated from about 2 AM until 1 PM, when I was in an open hospital gown and laying on a hospital bed being prepped for surgery. That part is fine. It's the preamble that messes me up.
Anyway, survived the wait, survived the anesthesia, and evidently survived the operation, which my Doc, Doc Waters, said was a success. I'll find out if that's true in the next few days, because if I can stop self cathererizing 12 or so times a day, which I have done since March 2 well then, that is a good operation. thanks to all of you who sent light, love, peace and good juju. I appreciate it a great deal. You all were probably the difference, so thank you.
And I hope that any of you facing an operation have them go well as well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

TRUMP'S Failures


Someone I used to like goes on incessantly about Trump and what he's done these days. Here is my short list of failures.
All I know is that Trump has not done a single thing he said he would, and that he lied on average more than 20 times a day. New Border Wall: 3 miles total. Mexico didn't pay for it.
Bigger, better health plan? We are waiting.
Infrastructure? Not a prayer.
Save manufacturing jobs and bring some home? He's lost more than he's won.
Make China pay? He opens new factories for himself there while imposing tariffs on products from China that we in the US pay for.
Make America energy independent? Hell, Obama did that years ago.
Help the Vets? He only takes credit for a program put in place by Biden when he was vice-president.
Handling the pandemic? 240.000 dead that he is responsible for with his utter stupidity.
The economy? Worse than the great depression.
He'll be so busy he won't have time for golf. 1200 or so days in office, 210 spent on the golf course.
Won't take a salary? Yes, but he's taking a million or more every freaking weekend to go golfing and has earned 10s of millions from using his own places and renting out his own places to foreign leaders.
Those are just a few of his abject failures. And I didn't even get personal with that boy. And you know I damned well could have..

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Games we played in Queens, New York in the late 1950s


My daughter was asking me why I fought so much as a kid in Whitestone, Queens, NY. I probably fought once every two weeks with my friends, and once a month with kids I didn't really know. And yes, I lost almost every damned one. When I got someone down I would ask if they gave up and if they said yes, I would let them go. Then they would jump on me as I walked away and darn, I'd lost again.
Those fights were pretty regular between say, 8 years old and 15 or 16. A few broken noses, a lost tooth, a broken jaw, broken wrist, broken fingers and knuckles. Normal wear and tear, though, for an Irish, Italian, German neighborhood.
But then my daughter asked me what was the craziest game we played. Well, it wasn't one walled handball, which was great, or stoop ball, or punch ball, or stick all, or baseball, or football, or card flipping, or even skolsie, the bottle cap game where you snap your bottlec aps along the gravel street with your thumb and forefinger, trying to get your bottle caps in certain places on a chalked board on the street surface.
No, the odd game, and I will bet a lot of you played it as well, had a name i forget. You stood, facing your opponent, about 4 feet from one another. You spread your legs out as far as you could. So did your opponent. Then, after flipping a coin or using "rock, paper, scissors" to determined who started, one guy would take out a folding knife or bowie knife, and throw it in the dirt in the space between the other fellow's feet.
He'd make it, of course. then it was your turn. You did the same. Both players moved their feet in by a few inches. You threw the knives again.
You would both make it, and then move your feet closer together and throw again. And again. And again.
It generally took about 7 or 8 throws to get feet a foot or so apart. That's where it got tricky. Cause if your opponent made the throw into the dirt, and you did too, you next throw would be at a space that was only 6 inches wide. And if you both made that throw, the next throw was at a space about one inch wide. And that was the throw that was going to hurt, because it was going to hit your sneakers, go through them, and the knife would embed itself in you foot.
A lot of guys would chicken out when it got that close, but the point of the game was to see who would stick with it, knowing the pain was coming. And knowing that the guy who threw his knife into your foot was going to have to stand there will you did it to him, while his knife was still in you.
I forget the name of that game but I probably played it hundreds of times and have the scars and some broken upper foot bones to prove it.
1951 was a great year to be born. We had it all. Including crazy shit.

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Hunter Biden Laptop Censorship Conspiracy


I think a lot of people are upset that Twitter and some other social media, as well as a number of news outlets, are not covering the Hunter Biden laptop computer allegations. They are calling it, including major journalist Matt Taibbi, censorship and a dangerous precedent. I even got hammered by a notable journalist in private for not railing against censorship of the news.
The story was initially told in the NY Post. I read the Post daily, along with the NY Daily news, to keep a finger on the pulse of my city -- even though I've been out here in Joshua, TX for 18 years now.
The initial story went something like this: Joe Biden's grown son Hunter brought a laptop computer or two from Los Angeles to Delaware to have them worked on by a legally blind computer guy. Hunter left them for more than 90 days, which made them the legal property of the computer guy.
The computer guy, who thought it was Hunter Biden who brought the laptops in for servicing, but couldn't be sure because of his eyesight, then decided to go through the hard drives of the laptops. (Two were allegedly brought in; I am not sure if he went through one or both.) He decided to read hundreds, perhaps thousands of emails despite his extremely poor eyesight, and found one in which a person in Ukraine -- where Hunter was on the board of Burisma, a Ukraine oil company, making $50 grand a month -- thanked Hunter for arranging an introduction to his dad, Vice President Joe Biden.
The blind computer guy knew he had an important story on his hands and tried to give it to major newspapers who would not take it unless they could look at the hard drive. US Government officials were also not interested.
So the computer guy reached out to Rudy Giuliani, who had been looking for dirt on Joe Biden, and Rudy got the story to the NY Post. The Post ran with it as a huge cover story scandal. Hunter was obviously pimping out his father for money. An alleged $30-$40 million changed hands somewhere along the line because of those supposed introductions to the VP.
The Post story had print outs of emails, but the emails had no metadata, which, I'm told, would have allowed people to verify who sent them, when they were sent, and from where, etc.
Rudy G was asked to produce the laptop(s) he had so that journalists could make some verifications. Rudy G refused.
So there is this story that Hunter is pimping out his dad, that Joe is apparently okay with it, that metadata doesn't matter, that a blind guy is not just a computer whiz but willing to wade through hundreds or thousands of emails to come on a thank you for a future meeting between a Ukraine official and Joe Biden -- which no one suggests actually happened.
Still, some right wing outlets ran with it. It got legs: Suddenly there were alleged sex tapes with Hunter but no one ever saw them; the $30 - $40 million cannot be found, and the blind man cannot be sure who the heck really dropped off the computer(s).
I do not agree with censorship of the news. Ever. But this is not a news story. Until there are at least SOME verifiable facts, it is just propaganda. It has no value, particularly coming two weeks before a presidential election in which Joe Biden is running.
Now some might say that we, as journalists, need to cover the story because it came from Rudy Giuliani. I strongly disagree. No one, no one would cover it if it came from Joe Blow. It would be ignored. But Giuliani has spent years making up lies and putting them out there in television interviews, so he no longer gets the benefit of the doubt. Refusing to allow computer techs from going over the hard drive in the alleged computer(s) simply seals that deal.
This is not censorship in any way, shape, or form. This is not news. Nothing has been proven, not a single element of the story.
This is a case where it is important to squash the propaganda rather than airing it. If elements of the story get proven this week, then go for it. If investigation of the allegations leads to legitimate discovery of wrong doing, print it. But as it stands right now, it has no news value.
It is just an attempt to scream "Fire!" in a movie theater.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Once in a While I Feel Beat Up


Once in a while I feel beat up. I mean I feel like I just lost a fight to Jackie Jones when I was eight years old and he did not fight fair. Today I'm thinking about the cataract surgery I had last week, and both the second cataract surgery and some other surgery to a private area i'll have n the next two weeks. I'm thinking about the hernia surgery, the three times they cut me from sternum to lower abdominal to fix a ruptured intestine, and the three operations to clean up the flesh eating bacteria on my leg. I'm thinking about the major operation I had on my mouth after a bad fall. I'm thinking about the minor heart attack, the malaria, the rheumatoid arthritis that put me in the hospital for months as a kid, and the hemmoragic dengue a couple of years ago.
I'm thinking about the baby bushmaster snake bite, the copperhead bite in my back yard a couple of years ago; I'm thinking of the fairly recent two anaconda bites that were not poisonous but inflicted serious damage to the nerves in my right hand, and the Brazilian wandering spider bite that nearly killed me.
I am thinking about bot fly infestations, vampire bat bites, bullet ant bites. I am remembering several broken noses from fights I lost badly, and a broken jaw. I am thinking about broken ribs and fingers, forearms and ankles.
And all the rest, from a cracked skull to wretched fungal infections in my legs, to 12 stitchings on my fingers and hands for various kitchen accidents over the years. Don't forget the failed kidneys, the collapsed bladder and so forth. The list is endless.
But while I really feel beat up today -- and my cigarettes are certainly part of the problem -- I am also thinking that man, I have had a time of it. I have loved, lost, loved again. I've discovered things. I've written stories that helped some people. I have laughed out loud. I've been here since the show started and I was not only in it, I was freaking complicit. And while I wish I was less beat up, I don't know that I could have lived my life in New York, Texas, and the Peruvian Amazon if I did not acquiesce to the dangers those places presented to me.
I am glad I did, even though right now, this minute, I wish I did not hurt so much.

Friday, September 25, 2020

RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Donald Trump did not pay respects to Ruth Bader Ginsbeug today. He tried to make a show of shit. To pay respects he would do what Obama did when the idiot Scalia died -- worst Justice in 100 years -- and still he replaced him with the conservative Merrick Garland, whom McConnell would not acknowledge. If Trump wanted to pay respects to RBG he would nominate a liberal to take her place, in the same way that Obama respected Scalia and nominated a conservative. I am so tired of this shit.
   Rest in Peace, Justice Ginsburg.
   My new personal check is going to be WWRD. What would Ruth do?

A Note on Brujeria

People often ask me about brujeria, dark magic. I tell them it is the effort of someone to cause someone else pain. In the Amazon Jungle, it might be someone poisoning someone else's chickens — physically or through the use of negative energy. It might be someone causing a marriage to break up by saying negative things to one party or the other.
Brujeria often occurs when a curandero, a healer, falls off the path of positivity and onto a path of negativity. Why they do that I have no idea. But they often become people that other people go to for the purpose of causing pain to a third person. Hiring a brujo is a simple thing. And they can be pretty powerful folk. I know that sounds crazy here in the US, but it is a reality in a place like Northwestern Amazonia, in my experience, where there is a lot less white noise to interfere with a person's energy than there is here in the USA.
To me, brujos are spiritual gunfighters for hire.


Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Sticky Bread

This is my third, and possibly last, post regarding the insane Q-Anon. That might change in the future.Here is the deal: Q-Anon, 4-Chan, 8-Chan and a host of other conspiracy sites were created by pimply teens who live in their mom's basements and need love. The sites were jokes but brought them needed attention.
What rocked those kids, and I know one, was that some people took it seriously. People were jerking off to the idea of Oprah and Hillary C abducting, killing, and drinking the blood of children. That turned those pimply 16-year-olds on so much that they kept it all going.
And some of you have fallen for it, just as 40 percent of the US population has Stockholm syndrome after being kidnapped and hijacked by the ridiculous Trump. (Man has an IQ of six if I give him the benefit, but yes, people abducted by him became enamored with him, if you can believe it!!!!!)
So the pimply teens making up Q-Anon and 4-Chan and a thousand other sites are jerking off imagining you jerking off to their freaking jokes.
For those of you who believe this nonsense, I hope you like being a part of a big circle jerk. Question is, who is gonna be stuck eating the sticky bread?


Monday, August 31, 2020

Thinking abou Russian site Q-Anon


What's on my mind is this: Q-Anon is a Russian site, meant to confuse the easily swayed. Lyin' Trump is gonna love it, of course, because he is depending on Putin's help to rig this election like he rigged the last one.
I don't like this bs at all. But the part that really hurts is that some people who used to have a heart and brain have gone down the rabbit hole and completely lost themselves. And they have no idea that they are being led by some pimply 16-year-old at a computer in a basement in Moscow. That just hurts my head and heart.

A Story from a Recent Interview Michael Sung Did with Me


Peter Gorman, an award-winning journalist and author of "Ayahuasca in my Blood" and "Sapo in my Soul," recounted a few colorful experiences with me from his 35+ years of living, traveling, and working in and around Iquitos and the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest:
Peter Gorman: "I remember seeing Julio [Curandero Julio Jerena] get knocked off his stool once in the middle of an ayahuasca ceremony. He must have flown 3 feet. He was a tiny little guy, and it was like watching a sitting Aikido move. Suddenly, he went flying like he had been thrown and just lay there on the floor afterwards. His daughter then told me to start singing, and there were other people mareado in the room."
"I did not have any icaros to sing. Remember, this was before I knew about dietas and all this other stuff."
"So what could I do?"
"I started singing Alberta Let your Hair Hang Down Low. Good Golly Miss Molly. Devil in a Blue Dress. Because that is all I knew. I did whatever I could do. I must have sung for 1.5 hours. I just kept the shacapa shaking, singing, and blowing mapacho smoke."
"Julio finally got up, grabbed the shacapa, took the mapacho from my hand, and continued the ceremony. He was mad at himself the next day, telling me he was weak and was unable to keep outside influences from interfering in the ceremony. I never thought he was weak, but he was around 90 years old at this time."
"Julio would not really talk about brujeria [black magic] with me though. When I would ask him about it once in a while, he would just say: "Forget it, forget it. The less you know about it, the better. There is nothing good that comes from brujeria. Leave it alone."

Sunday, August 30, 2020

A New York Story


So I found Patti Smith's M Train book on the kitchen table when I was cleaning it up. My friend Claudia V, whom I have known for 40 plus years, gave it to me. I liked Smith, not just for her music but because she and her then-boyfriend Robert Mapelthorpe, lived in New York City's Chelsea Hotel at about the same time I did. I think they were a year earlier or two years earlier. And I was only there for 5 weeks or so, after my breakup with CL.
Smith talked about Maplethorpe falling in love with hustling his ass on 42 street, with his friend, the poet-songwriter Jim Carroll. Both became famous: Carroll for his poetry, songs,and the book The Basketball Diaries.
Maplethorpe became famous for his photos of the extreme homosexual life.
So I was talking to my daughter Madeleina about Patti Smith and the Chelsea Hotel, and that led into a discussion of Maplethorpe and Carroll, which led into a discussion of the chicken hawks who plied 53 Street and Lexington Ave at the RR train station line, which led to talking about my gay cook at my The Cold Beer Blues Bar in Iquitos, Peru, who was fine until he tried to kill my son Marco -- def a pain in the ass -- with a kitchen knife, and then Madeleina said my story was getting too confusing and could she excuse herself to go to the bathroom.
I let her, of course. But damn, if I just had another hour, I could have brought that story back home....hahahaha. Sometimes I just take too roundabout a path. Darn it. I know it was all connected.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Way It Is

I am being pushed a little. Two of my friends evidently believe in PizzaGate, which, if we lived in another world, would justify my separating their heads from the rest of them. Yes, two friends of mine believe Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Jim Carry and others are killing children to drink the essence of their third eyes.
if those friends were my livestock I would put them down out of mercy just because they are that stupid.
Other people I know listen to trump's farts and believe that Biden caused the depression we are in and is responsible for the civil unrest. I wish I could put those stupid people out of my misery as well.
There is no Pizzagate. Trump caused more than 125,000-150,000 deaths from the pandemic, he is responsible for the fucked economy, and he caused all the civil unrest. If you or anyone you know cannot see that, they are horrifyingly stupid.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

One Time Only Bible Study


This is rare, coming from me. Full disclosure: I am a lapsed Catholic who was a great altar boy. In our parish the altar boys brought food to old people, read to them even when their homes smelled like urine, helped paint a house or two for poor people, that sort of thing. We weren't always great at it, but we tried.
That said, a friend of mine recently posted something about the New Testament of the Bible on FB, calling out the impossibly magikal stories that could not have happened. I agree, but for different reasons. If Jesus could, for instance, raise Lazarus from the dead because Lazarus' mother was so distraught, why didn't he raise others whose mothers were also distraught? I mean, what kind of superhero is that?
My personal favorite story in the various books of the New Testament is the story of the Loaves and Fishes. That's the one where Jesus was followed by a large crowd out of town and when he realized people were hungry took one loaf of bread and one fish and gave it to the first hungry person. But he still had a loaf and another fish, so he gave that to the second person. And he kept multiplying the loaves and fishes until everybody ate.
I grew up thinking what a wonderful miracle that was, until I realized that I didn't like it at all. First of all, who the heck plays pied piper with a couple of thousand people to drag them out of town in the freaking desert without having water available? Where were the concessionaires? Who planned that rally and why were they so darned incompetent?
I get that multiplying loaves of bread and fish is a cool miracle, but it doesn't seem like much of a miracle to me. My idea of a great miracle would be that when people were hungry and thirsty, Jesus would have known that everyone, or most, had brought a stash of food or water. That is fairly standard all over the world when going off the beaten track. But people are selfish with their stashes. If they thought to bring it and someone else didn't, there is a tendency to think "too bad for you for not bringing food" in such situations, and I have been in a lot of them in the jungle, or hitchhiking across the USA several times, or just hiking.
To me, the real miracle -- once you realized you hadn't brought anybody with a food stand -- would be to coax everyone at the event to take out their secret stashes and to share those. And there would probably be -- as there usually is -- more than enough for everyone.
Getting people to be selfless is a true miracle. You don't need superpowers, you just need enough love. And that's what I think really happened that day in the desert a long time ago.
And that is the end of Gorman's bible study, I promise.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Questions for Donald Trump


The Huffington Post reporter who had the balls to ask Trump about lying to the American public tens of thousands of times a couple of days ago should win an award for honesty in reporting. I suggest a few follow up questions from other White House reporters:
Mr President, how do you feel about having cheated to win the presidency in 2016 and are you happy with your cheating efforts with the Ukraine, China, Russia and the United States Postal Service currently? Will your cheating put you over the top?
Mr. President: Are you happy with the $142 million in taxpayer money that your golf courses have accumulated while you were playing at them in the last 42 months, or do you think you deserve to rip the US people off for more than that?
Mr President: Being directly responsible for at least 3/4 of the Covid deaths in the US -- 125,000 or so to date that you could have prevented, is that enough for your blood lust or can we anticipate another several hundred thousand dead to keep you smiling?
Mr. President: Having organized and executed to the largest financial recession since the great depression -- and a good argument can be made that your recession is greater than the great depression -- are you feeling like you are Number 1?
These are a few of the questions I would ask if I was a White House reporter these days. And again, congrats to the HuffPost reporter who had the balls to ask about the 20,000-plus lies.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Sickness and Societal Changes

Someone I know, a friend, was posting on FB about the media hysteria surrounding the current Covid-19 pandemic. He asked if anyone remember when the AIDS issue broke in the 1980s and said he remembered that it was going to kill everyone but that we were still standing. it was an idiotic comparison and I felt like just telling him off. I didn't. Instead i thought about it for a few minutes and think i came up with a much better response than telling him off. Here is what I wrote;

I think there is an important lesson or two to learn here. When AIDS hit, people were not certain about the cause. It wasn't a disease. It was a condition in which the immune system got overloaded and broke down. Mostly it got overloaded from needle sharing and unprotected sex with lots of partners. But some people got their immune system overloaded from blood transfusions — my friends with hemophilia, Barbara and Kenny Jenks were two of them — and others had their immune systems blown out by simple hepatitis shots. Of course, once the immune system is really blown out, your body can't defend against much of anything and even minor infections and viruses can lead to death.
    There was hysteria and it was warranted. Not only were drugs developed to help maintain the immune system, but the first needle-exchanges were established. People who had multiple sex partners, if they were intelligent, began to use condoms even if they hated them. And those changes were not only helpful in reducing those awful deaths, but were necessary across all levels of society.
    Now we have Covid-19 and there is some hysteria. It is warranted. There are medicines being researched that will hopefully help. Masks and social distancing might suck as bad as using condoms but they saved, and are continuing to save a lot of lives. Societal adaptations are always difficult, and met with skepticism, anger, denial, conspiracy theories. But in the case of AIDS, changing habits was necessary for a lot of people. Now, with a virus that does not care whether you are contributing to your illness with your behavior, those changes are even more vital. And they are not a big deal at all.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Here's a short one, finally

So a liar, a thief, and a narcissist walk into a bar.
The bartender says: "What'll you have, Mr. Trump?"

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Political question seeking answers

I need someone in the know to answer this. I know I am being cynical, but with the goings on of the last few years and during much of my lifetime, I don't know what else to be.
The moratorium on evictions, some federal, some state, will expire in just a few days. If those evictions are permitted to proceed — and there could be a reported 23 million of them, which would represent about 40 million or so adults — would those people still be able to vote? I ask because the address on their voter registration would no longer match. I ask because if they are registering now, or asking for an absentee ballot and it is sent to an address where they no longer live, how would they get it. If those evicted move in with family or friends in another state, will they be allowed to register?
Again, I know I am being cynical but I would love some informed input.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Another Insane Food Post!

Ladies and Gents. Gorman here. I am so tired of FB lately. Too many people shouting at one another. Too many decent folk have fallen for Q. I try to refrain from responding most of the time, but once in a while people I like write or reprint something so cockamamie that I dash off a negative response telling them how full of bologna they are. I'm right and they know it, of course, but they can't help themselves.
Okay, so I just feel like talking about food since that is currently a primary outlet for me. In the last week the Italian mama in this Irish boy came out. You'll see. Very unusual.
Started off about a week ago with a nice vegetarian manicotti with fresh mozzarella, asiago, and good ricotta -- along with garlic, spinach, tons of fresh organic basil, and scallions in a nice tomato sauce. Topped with more mozzarella.
Moved on to a barbeque of marinated chicken, sausage, burgers, marinated grilled veggies and a homemade macaroni salad with diced red and green peppers and scallions.
The burger was so good we had them again the next night. We used a mix of coal and pecan wood from a fallen pecan in the yard (big yard at 1 1/2 acres or so), and it was unreal. Served it with a Caprice salad that was outlandishly simple and good..(Thick slice of organic beefsteak tomato topped with a thick slice of fresh mozzarella, topped with basil, sea salt, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil steeped in chopped garlic.)
Next night was mussels posillipo — fresh mussels in a homemade sauce of garlic, onions, scallions, finely diced fresh Roma tomatoes, wine, salt and cracked black pepper. Served with garlic bread, of course.
Moved on two nights ago to fresh fried calamari. Got a pound of calamari tubes, cut them in 1/2 inch slices. Breaded and fried them and served them with a HOT marinara -- a regular marinara i made but to which was added red pepper flakes and some crab boil. A bottle of Shiner Bock beer beer finished the sauce off.
And last night was freaking excellent chicken parmesan with my fourth tomato sauce of the week. Served with spinach sauteed with garlic in olive oil.
That was a good-eating week. A few bites of each every night was plenty for me so there is lots of stuff left over in the fridge.
And I hope this was better than a political rant. This time.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Legality of Ayahuasca in USA

For the 10 millionth time, someone emailed me about the legal status of the ayahuasca outfit Soul Quest, in Florida. This is my response:
Lots of people love Soul Quest. Legally, it is, of course, entirely illegal and there has been at least one death there from someone drinking too much water before doing frog sweat, sapo/kambo. What do you want to ask me? If it is going to concern the grey area Soul Quest claims they are in, I have to say they are simply lying. They are not in any way connected to the Native American Church, and the NAC has no legal right to use any controlled medicine except peyote. ONAC is an invented silly name with no meaning, and and absolutely no legal significance.
One group of santo daime has the right to use ayahuasca in the USA at one location, and there might be one other exception, but it certainly ain't Soul Quest or any of the other hundred or two groups that I know are claiming legal right or grey area via connection to NAC (which has no connections) or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They are just too small fry to bother with at the moment. They get big, they are all going to jail.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Sapo and Pregnancy: Don't Do It

Someone was asking me about using the indigenous Matses frog sweat, sapo, with regard to pregnancy. This is what I responded.

At the earliest stages of pregnancy, the first few weeks, sapo in a very tiny amount is applied to a woman's wrist to discover who the father is. Later, very tiny amounts are applied to see what the sex of the fetus is and whether it is healthy. If not sapo can be used as an abortive.

   As a male, I never witnessed how tiny those initial applications were. Now, as someone who has seen several women abort/miscarriage with sapo I would strongly, strongly urge it not to be used by pregnant westerners at any amount. The abortion can take a couple of days. It is very painful. I knew someone who used it as an abortive and the evacuation — at just six weeks of gestation — took 12 hours. She was in serious pain the entire time.
   A couple of years ago a woman sat at the table I use as my office while in Iquitos. I had never met her prior to that moment. As she sat she was obviously in pain, and i asked her what was wrong. She told me that several hours earlier she'd been treated with sapo because she was pregnant — three months — and was told the medicine would strengthen her umbilical cord. She would not tell me who treated her, and there are lots of idiots, both locals and gringos, in Iquitos serving sapo/kambo. Whomever it was i wanted to strangle them because I knew the woman was beginning to abort, and she had wanted to bring the fetus to term. I did not tell her because it was too late to stop the process.
  She finished aborting about 24 hours later.
  Please use sapo wisely. It can strengthen the body overall, but for pregnant women, it is primarily a very lousy abortive. It should NOT be used on lactating women either, as no studies have been done to see 1) if the poisons being eliminated from the mother might find their way into her milk, and 2) if the medicine itself found its way into her milk, what effect that would have on a baby.
   I hope this helps.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

All of It is Trump's Fault.

It is all Donald J Trump's fault. The whole mess. It started with him eliminating the pandemic team put together by President Obama to get a jump on future pandemics. It continued with him discarding the Pandemic—101 booklet on handling pandemics put together by Obama's administration. It continued with Trump ignoring all the warning signs and actual warnings about the coming pandemic throughout January and February, while he held rallies and golfed.
Those moves, plus a refusal to secure masks that were offered led to the severe outbreak of COVID-19 in the USA, which has led to over 110,000 deaths here thusfar.
That outbreak, most of it directly Trump's fault, led to the economy crashing, putting tens of millions out of work.
On a completely different tact, Trump's cheering on — while himself a coward — of violence by others against hi perceived enemies, whether at rallies or in the media or even in his administration, helped lead to the George Floyd killing and others like it. That killing led to the protests 've had here for two weeks, most of them peaceful, but with enough agents provocateur and ordinary looters to justify the use of police force in dozens of cases, resulting in serious injury to many.
Last week Trump got news that a couple of million people went back to work in May and he crowded like the cock of the walk about that. He omitted the part that he encouraged states to reopen and that once reopened people who did not return to work lost their unemployment and would probably lose their jobs. So that 2-plus million who went back to work are now at risk for COVID-19 to give Trump something he could pretend was good news.
I have people writing to me that I am too harsh on Trump. I am not. I am not because all of this is his fault. All of it.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Glad to Be Part of the Movement

A friend noted that liberals freed the slaves, gave women and blacks the right to vote, voted in the civil rights act and twenty other things. I felt compelled to add this:
    Damned fucking straight! This is what we liberals did and I am proud that I wrote and marched against the Vietnam war, for Women's rights, for Gay rights, for LGBT rights, to end prison privatization, for the Americans and Mexicans to take their place in out society, for the rights of Weed smokers and growers when I worked for so many years at High Times, for the end of forfeiture laws connected to marijuana, for the environment, for peace, and for everyone to get a square deal while we live together on this planet. I still have work to do and I am ready and able. If I can't march anymore, I can still write. Victory to decency!

Friday, June 05, 2020

Good Food Found in the Fridge

Like most of us, I have been spending time concentrating on trump's attempted coup of the USA, the murder of George Floyd, the collapsed economy, the racial divide in our country, and COVID-19. I've also been watching the bunker boy trump ease and erase control on the EPA and infrastructure rules, while he gasses church rectors to get a photo op holding a bible upside down and backwards.
I have also had to see that the shopping was done, do the cooking, and clean up.
Tonight I  was not in the mood to cook and was thinking about getting pizza. We have two pretty good joints near me, mom and pops, and while they are not Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philly or Chicago, are still pretty good for texas.
But then I looked into the fridge. I was startled by the leftovers. There was two or three pounds of potato and egg salad and 4 chicken legs, plus marinated and grilled veggies from a barbeque a few nights ago.There was a nice hot sausage in chicken velouté we'd used on thin pasta. There was a bowl of meatless dahl made with small red beans, a bowl of raita (cucumber salad in yogurt with cumin), some pork vindaloo, a fajita stew, five pieces of lime chicken (my invention: Chicken breasts dressed in breadcrumbs and grated parmesan, sauteed, then baked with fresh lime juice), and one piece of sauteed salmon done in ginger, teriyaki, garlic and sesame oil with a candied skin. There is also an almost new loaf of sourdough that we used last night to make grilled Virginia ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches with tomatoes. And plenty of left over ham, plus two good avocados, fresh cucumber and a beefsteak tomato.
Damn. I hope my family shows up in the new bar my kids Italo, Marco, and my granddaughter Taylor Rain made to eat some of this.
If they don't want it, I guess I'll just order pizza. Dang.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Agent Provocateurs

During the protests of the Vietnam war, both in New York and Washington, DC, most of the violence was started by agents provocateur. Sometimes they were crazies, sometimes they worked for the police or the FBI, sometimes they were paid by the police or the FBI. 
    From the looks of the white guy who was filmed breaking all the windows in Autozone, it looks like he was one of those. 
   Once the powers that be decide they do not like the television version of what is going on, the best way to change it is to send in someone to commit violent acts, allowing the police to respond to all protesters with violence. That, in turn, produces real violence. 
   Right now, with all the photos of white people looting stores, and with the film of the white guy breaking the windows at Autozone, I suspect that's exactly what is going on here. Create violence to change the perception of what is/was happening.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Life Hack Beauty Tip

When I got my first apartment in NYC when I was 19, my neighbor in the tenement apartment next to mine, an elderly but sprightly woman, used to rub bacon grease into her face every evening. She would rub and rub, then put her face over hot water to get rid of it. she swore it eliminated wrinkles, and by god, she didn't have a one! 
And then, of course, when I was a chef in NYC once a week a 
fat-render would come from the Ivory soap plant in Queens, NY to buy my fry grease to make Ivory soap, shampoos, and facial products with, so I think my neighbor was on to something.

Monday, May 25, 2020

It's raining in Joshua, Texas

I've spoken on this before, but I'm gonna speak on it again. I hope you don't mind.
It's raining outside here in Joshua, Texas. Been raining pretty much since yesterday afternoon. The greens get greener as the roots of the trees and grass get to lap up the fresh rain water in the earth.
And I am reminded of the beauty of green magic. That water will find its way to streams, and rivers, and finally oceans. Some of it will evaporate quickly; some will take a longer time. But all of it will make its way around the world sooner or later. All of it will appear as rain on oasis, or on Chinese villages, or feed the Amazon jungle.
At its most vulgar, remember that what you pee today will water plants that feed a yak or an elephant one day. And what that yak or elephant pees will feed the vegetables that feed your children and mine.
We are all so very, very connected. We are all so intertwined that we cannot do without one another. I am guilty of sometimes forgetting that. But I am a better person and this is a better world when I remember it and remember to live it.

Friday, May 22, 2020

How Sister Somayah came to be a public figure.

How Sister Somayah came to be a public figure. In the early or mid 1990s a crazy woman began calling me at 3-4 AM about once a week at home. I'd anser my rotary dial phone and she'd cuss and cuss at me ant then hang up. After maybe 15-20 such calls I finally got her attention and asked what the hell she was calling me for and what could I do for her. He calmed a little and told me that white folks, very few of which get sickle cell anemia, were ignoring black folks who had the disease. then the hung up. Over the course of the next few weeks and next few phone calls, she explained, with a lot of cussing, that she was a black woman suffering from sickle cell and had had to leave the military — I think she was in Navy provisions — because of her illness. she said the US government provided all sickle cell patients with morphine two or three times a week to alleviate the pain, but that just made them junkies. She said that marijuana dilated the blood vessels and arteries and allowed the sickle cells to pass without causing unbearable pain. She was angry that High Times did not report on this. She called me because I was the editor of the Highwitness News. By chance, I had a friend doing a Masters thesis at (I think) Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. She looked into patients getting morphine for sickle cell and then questioned hundreds and discovered that many, when they could afford marijuana, discovered it worked better than morphine and allowed them to work pain free again rather than being government junkies. so I wrote a story about her and the movement picked her up and the issue got out there and she was marvelous when the spoke about marijuana. And that's that.

Monday, May 18, 2020

I disagree with friends about the pandemic

So I have friends, friends I love, who do not believe the pandemic is real. They think the government is slowly herding us into sheep by starting off with masks and social distancing. I think they are crazy.
They think Bill Gates and his (transsexual, they say) wife are trying to implant things in us. They think the Bildergergers are going to run the world.
I want to laugh and I want to strangle my friends for sheer stupidity.
If you have a smart phone, the government and 2,000 other agencies knows where you are at all times, from shitting to sleeping to fucking your neighbor's husband. If you have Siri or one of the others, you gave up your freedom willingly.
So there are no new tricks needed to know where you are 24/7. Hell, I have a land line with a rotary phone and it has been tapped since I went to work for High Times in 1986. When I brought my wife back from Peru's Jungle in 1994 she would call me once or twice a week to say the men with the blue suits -- the FBI-- were at our door, asking to come in for a minute. I always told her to tell them no,
But they were there twice a week. they knew who we were. The difference between me and paranoia is I accepted it and did not care. I moved a lot of marijuana for High Times centerfold or story shoots in the day and I did not care that they knew I was doing it. When child services came to check out my boys during a separation between my wife and myself, I told them to tell the truth about the pot in the house if they asked.
My point is that being fearful, running away, does not help. Smuggle in plain sight, wear the damned mask and do not be afraid that it suggests cowardice. Not wearing it represents a level of fear I hope I never achieve.
Stay strong, Stay smart. Do not fall prey to the bullshit that well-meaning people are putting out there. Just be yourself.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Too Many Times with the Knife

I am getting tired of knives. I've been using them since I worked at Louie's candy store when I was seven or eight or nine. I used them at Cresthaven Country Club in Whitestone, Queens, New York when I was 14, 15, 16 and working the kitchen and day camp kitchen. I used them at home when mom asked me for help, and I used them with Philly B in my first apartment on 76th between 1st and 2nd Avenues when I started Hunter College. I used them at the Lodge Restaurant, and Jimmy Day's, and the Mad Hatter, and Arthur's Court, and the Banana Boat, and Bayard's — great restaurant/bar top to bottom — and at Wilson's, a standard bearer for years. I used them at Fellini's restaurant in Los Angeles, and I've used them at home with my family since 1994. i used them in my own restaurant, The Cold Beer Blues Bar in Iquitos, Peru from 1998-2001.
I am getting tired of cutting garlic and onions every night. I am tired of cutting parsley and squeezing it dry. I'm tired of cutting fucking Roma tomatoes and cilantro. I am tired of getting 120 slices out of every cucumber I've ever cut.
If i have made an average of 1,000 cuts a day for 60 years, that would come to roughly 20 million times I've brought a knife down on a cutting board. If I am wrong by half, that's still 10 million. that's probably as many times as Eric Clapton has played notes. He's probably tired of the guitar and I cannot blame him.
I will still cut. I'm just saying I'm getting tired of it and wish someone else would cut the damned onions!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Coronavirus death Percentages

I keep hearing and reading that caronavirus kills about .1-.3 percent. Nonsense. In the US we have 80,000 dead out of 1.4 million, which is more like 6 percent. Get that? 6 percent. Much more than the flu ever killed. Worldwide, out of 4 million tests, we have 300,000 deaths, about 7 percent. So please stop talking about .01 percent, or .3 percent. We are talking about 6-7 percent of known cases of coronavirus, COVID-19, resulting in death. Get it? Good. It's scary when you look at the numbers and stop believing the bologna on FB. Stay safe. Do not act out of fear, but act out of knowledge. You wouldn't walk into a gun held by a madman, would you? Don't drop your guard here either.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Blood Pressure issues and Sapo/kambo (frog sweat medicine)

Someone asked about serving a patient sapo or kambo if they are on blood pressure medicine. I think I've gone over this before, but just in case I have not, here is my take-- though you should check with the person's doctor before making any decision to serve.

Normally you can work with sapo/kambo with high or low blood presure so long as you are ON your medication. The meds bring you to normal, so when the blood pressure drops while doing kambo (feels higher because more blood is going through your arteries and veins from vasodilation) the pressure medicine will quickly bring you back to normal. Still, always start lightly to make sure a new patient handles it well. You can always do more tomorrow. But if a person has high or low blood pressure and is NOT on their meds, do not serve them. That's where the danger lies.  And check with their doc first, of course. I hope that helps.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Bring Me Fresh Meat

Near the end of my book, Ayahuasca in My Blood, I have an interchange with Ayahuasca where she makes the demand that I bring her fresh meat. People have often asked me if  I ever resolved what Ayahuasca meant by that. I responded to one of those people with this, this morning.
    I've never gotten a straight answer from ayahuasca about what she meant. Like so many things, she offered the opportunity to me to figure it out. And I think it meant both that she wanted me fresh when I visited --as in do not have a glass of wine or three during the day of an experience, and also that she wanted me to bring new people, spread the word about her.

   This is where we run into an issue: I believe that all things have spirit, and that all spirits have desires and fears, in other words, an ego. In the case of ayahuasca, she labored in the Amazon and a bit in the mountains for a long, long time. She was a medicine and tool for those people. But when she was brought out to the Western world suddenly she was being revered – something I don't believe the indigenous ever did. (Respect, yes, revere, no.) I think that got to her spirit a little and she started taking herself very seriously, thinking she was very important, rather than recognizing that she was a spirit equal with all other spirits. Which is where the demand for more "fresh meat" came from: for a little while she was not seeing us as equal spirits but as fodder for her ego.
   So she needed a little reminder that she is not more important than other spirits. All spirits have things they can do, and she opens the doors to other worlds, other levels of reality, very well. But that does not make her those other worlds: She's just the one seeing what you need to learn and then opening the door to a place where you can learn that.
  I hope that makes sense.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Lots of leftovers

I went to grab a plate to put the leftover barbecued baby back ribs on and didn't have one that was the right size. That was odd. It was especially odd because I'd had to search for the right sized bowl to put the leftover franks and beans in-- a dish that had lots of garlic, onion, scallions, fresh tomatoes, brown sugar, mustard, cilantro, and some dark beer.
So I went to the fridge and was taken aback by what was there. There was a small piece of salmon in a sesame oil dressing with long red-pepper spears, scallions, and ginger. There was a bowl of marinara sauce I made a coupe of days ago. There were two roasted chicken thighs from the same night we had the spaghetti marinara. There was half-a-pan's worth of delicious meatloaf. There were a couple of things older than three or four days and I put them in bags for the dogs and chickens and ducks.
I made the ribs last night -- but I didn't have any -- just in case the others, my daughter Madeleina and my friend Devon, didn't like the sandwich I made for dinner. It was an avocado, tomato, and cucumber sandwich with fresh, smoked mozzarella on sourdough bread that was seasoned with some mayo, a teaspoon of garlic-infused olive oil, and horseradish sauce.
It turned out they loved the sandwich as much as I did, which is why I have so many ribs left over!
I got to stop wasting all my money on this good food and the plastic wrap I need to wrap all the leftovers!