Wednesday, December 28, 2011

To "You Go Girl" or To Not "You Go Girl"

As promised, the crack research staff at Strong Man's Cup of Tea World Headquarters, the Teacups, has been as busy as a one-armed paper hanger testing the inappropriate gifts mentioned in the last blog posting.

(Teacup Lizzie)
While the argument still rages over the eight-pound scrotum test, the You Go Girl! review is complete, and I am ready to share it with you today.

To refresh your memory, You Go Girl is a powder, that when poured into the toilet bowl before using, creates a foam that dampens sounds, eliminates some of the odor, and catches all sorts of nastiness before it spreads.
(New BFF, Teacup Jules)

The Teacups went above and beyond in their testing, and while I would like to say that no snack cakes were hurt during this testing, I am afraid to say that several were lost in the name of science.

Special shout out to my New BFF, Julie, for finding this product and leading the charge on the testing.  Julie, You Go Girl!

For more information, go to the company website: You Go Girl!

What's that, my Lovelies?  Oh! You are welcome.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Inappropriate Last-Minute Gifts

Gifts not appropriate for Grandpa.

Whether we like it or not, it is that time of year. The time your inbox is flooded with emails offering last minute Christmas gifts, some even with deep discounts and free shipping.  If you are like me and tend to wait until the last minute to purchase your Snuggies, Magic Brownie Pans (totally not what I thought it would be, by the way), and Chia Pets, then today's post will be very helpful to you.  If you are not like me and are some sort of freak who does her Christmas shopping early, then feel free to read and disapprovingly shake your head and roll your eyes at the trauma that normal people like me face each year.

It is a scientific fact that three gazillion emails are sent from retailers to each email address during the final five days before Christmas.  That many items can be tough to manage, but thankfully, my lovelies, I am here for you.  I have taken the time to read through those emails and sort out some of the more, let's say awkward, gifts that should be avoided at all costs this year.  I am fairly certain this is something Oprah would approve of me doing for her in her absence, although she would have made her husbands Gayle and Stedman do it for her.  I tried to make Andy help, but he looked at me with disgust and mumbled something my needing to up both my Xanax and Cymbalta prescriptions before leaving the room.

Reading those emails and clicking through all those links was daunting, but informative.  If anyone needs to know the best place to purchase generic Viagra (it isn't the real stuff, of course, I don't have firsthand knowledge, I've only read others reviews), the best online school for any possible degree that you may desire or are lonely and would like a new pen pal from the Ukraine, I can direct you to the proper place.

Having thoroughly researched the bombardment of LAST MINUTE GIFTS!!!! GET THEM NOW!!! FREE SHIPPING!!! emails, I now share with you the most inappropriate gifts I discovered in my shopping.  I implore each of you to think long and hard before deciding to purchase any of these items.  There are always people who would appreciate these, people like me.  I would love any and all of them, but Mammaw Jenkins or MeeMee Tootles, Reverend Jackson from the Mid-Town Holiness Church, or your Boss, Evil Miranda probably would not see the genius of such items.

Without further ado, I present the 2011 Strong Man's Cup of Tea Inappropriate Christmas Gift List:


I understand that people reuse towels, and it is both environmentally responsible and a lazy man's way of delaying doing the laundry.  I myself reuse whatever towel is hanging on the closest wall hook, line, or counter top when I hop out of the shower every Saturday evening (my shower day).  But if you are going to reuse the towel, you have to understand that the second or third use may entail drying your face, arms, and hair with the portion of the towel that was earlier used to soak up the water from your undercarriage.  It is a an ugly truth that we all just ignore.  Sure, your undercarriage should be clean, you just washed it; but what if you perhaps missed a spot?  With a set of these towels, you no longer need to worry about such misfortune.

I am troubled, however, that the Butt side of the towel is brown.  And what if you're colorblind?

The link: Butt-Face Towel

The Testicle Self-Exam Practice Form
Prostate Cancer is no laughing matter.  A man's balls are no laughing matter.  But put the two together in a plastic and silicone package and gift it? Now, that's funny.  There are several things that trouble me about this gift option.  For one, the shipping weight of this product is eight pounds. EIGHT POUNDS?  I am not ashamed to say that my own personal junk comes nowhere near weighing EIGHT POUNDS.  Combing through all the mail for this post, there were a few sneaky emails whose link did not lead me to "Puppies For Sale," but instead to pornographic sites.  After perusing the porno sites for a bit, just to make sure there were, indeed, no puppies for sale, I can tell you that men starring in porno movies are not packing EIGHT POUNDS.  If I received an EIGHT POUND sack of balls and instruction manual on how to check myself for lumps, when I actually looked at my real stuff, I would probably be too humiliated to touch it, let alone have a doctor look at it.

The other thing that scares me a little is that the webpage also offers a section at the bottom of the page for "Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed," and this was what was listed: A yodeling pickle, a gallon of whole milk, a giant Swiss Army knife, a spray bottle named Liquid Ass, and a Kindle Fire.  Messed up.  That is just messed up.


I can already hear the grumbling now.  "What's that, you say?  Pole dancing inappropriate?  Why it is an American institution, like apple pie and waterboarding."

I agree with you, my lovelies, pole dancing is a talent that each and every one of us need to develop and cultivate.  It is an art form that does not get the recognition or appreciation that it deserves.  I look back at my time on the pole as a rewarding, self-gratifying time, full of laughs and adventure.  I am simply saying that a pole dancing kit may not be the best choice for a Christmas gift, especially for Aunt Hilda or Uncle Earl.  But, if you insist on purchasing one, be very careful which kit you buy because there are many on the market.

One of main reasons this kit made the list was this customer review:

"If you are serious about pole dancing, or don't want to get hurt, do not buy this. It is horribly made. Since it is in three pieces (a real pole is one) it is flimsy and  [not] supportive and tends to give in the middle. Especially NOT recommended for tricks and inverts."

I take my pole dancing very seriously, don't want no scrub pole.

The link: Shoddy Dance Pole Kit

The Edible Anus

Few things are more inappropriate in any social setting than an depiction of an actual anus, unless you are eating said anus.  While the website touts that it is made from the finest of Belgium chocolates, I still can not think of a valid reason to purchase this for anyone as a gift.  It is the gift that says, "Hey! I know how much you enjoy anus, so here is one made of chocolate.  Enjoy!"  Never.  Appropriate.

And, to answer all my racist readers question, it is available in white chocolate.  It also comes in a sterling silver variety.  I suppose you could use it as a paperweight or a door stopper.

The most troubling thing about this entire product?  The warning on the website that reads "Contains traces of nuts and milk proteins."

The link: Eat Me Anus

You Go Girl

This final product, You Go Girl, is perhaps the strangest of all the gifts listed.  As a man, I never realized that women apparently spread urine and fecal matter all over the bathroom when they do their business.  In fact, since I was old enough to use the toilet, I have been accused by every woman around me of having poor aiming skills, and thus, making a mess of my own.  But according this site, it is women who somehow release the "plume," as the page calls it, covering everything from toothbrushes and towels to sinks and floors with bacteria and death.

You Go Girl is a powder, that when poured into the bowl before using, creates a foam that dampens sounds, eliminates some of the odor, and catches all that nastiness before it spreads.

Nothing could be more inappropriate than to give a gift that says, "Granny Anne, you have explosive and deadly bowel movements, and this will help save the lives of those who are around you."  Sure, it is thoughtful, but not appropriate.

The most troubling thing about the website?  It plays Kool and the Gang's "She's Fresh" song while you browse.

The link: Toxic Waste Preventer

There you have it.  My list of the worst offenders of 2011.  If you do insist on purchasing these items for someone, please have a camera and/or video ready to capture the magic moment of surprise when the recipient opens the gift.  Then, send it to me.  I beg you.

If anyone else has any inappropriate gift ideas or has received one, please share that with me as well.  My newly formed crack-research staff, The Tea Cups (I wanted to name them the Tea Bags, but they said no) will be testing some of these products, and I will let you know the results soon!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book Review: THRESHOLD by Devin O'Branagan

Thanks to the power of Twitter and Facebook, I discovered the work of a wonderful author named Devin O'Branagan.  Her stories of paranormal thrillers were what caught my initial attention, but I fell in love with her Molly O'Malley book series.  Molly is a hardworking, sassy real estate agent whose adventures remind me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, had Stephanie gone into real estate instead of bounty hunting.  Already a big fan of O'Branagan, I was excited to learn she had released a new book last month.  However, I was not prepared for what was waiting for me in the pages between the cover of the new release.  THRESHOLD, by Devin O'Branagan is in one word, Fabulous.

Devin ventures outside of her normal paranormal chick-lit and comedic writing to spin a tale that is spiritual, moving, and very inspirational to all, regardless of faith or religion.

(Devin O'Branagan)
The story centers around twelve-year old Cole Dillon, a member of the affluent ranching Dillon family, who lives in the vast, rural farmlands of Montana.  Just before his birthday, Cole has a horrible accident and nearly drowns in the icy Deer Lake.  He is saved by Elijah Thunderbird, the ranch overseer and native American shaman.

During Cole's time trapped under the cold lake water, he has a vivid near-death experience.  The experience is very real, and according to the Natural Order, Cole should have actually passed on at this time.  Because of Ejijah's tribal shamanic knowledge, Cole is revived and returns to our world with the understanding that he is to complete a very important task, one that will save many lives. The problem is after recovering from his trauma, Cole is unable to remember exactly what task he was given.

Dark Spirits have also followed Cole back to his small Montana town and home, and they manifest themselves in various forms of hate, violence, and ignorance, wreaking havoc on friends and family.

Elijah, as well as other people with special gifts, try to help Cole remember his task, and guide him on his path to completing what he must do.

O'Branagan combines several religious and mystical beliefs together in THRESHOLD, and instead of pitting them against each other, weaves them into a strong, solid system that allows them to work together, taking the best from each and using it to battle against evil.  The result is a beautiful arrangement that I think we could all benefit from in our real lives.  Instead of automatically assuming a belief system is wrong or untrue simply because it is different from your own is erroneous.  If we could have open minds and look deeply into different religions and belief systems, we would see that almost all are based on love, truth, and doing the right thing.  O'Branagan shows us what the results of that could be in this wonderfully inspirational book, THRESHOLD.

I would recommend this read to anyone.  It may leave you with more questions than answers, especially regarding near-death experiences, what happens to us after we die, and the differences in many of the Native American religious beliefs, Judaism, Christianity, and even Wiccan beliefs. But those can lead to fun and fruitful discussions and research. 

I think one of the marks of a good book is that you continue to think about it after reading.  You will definitely be doing that after reading THRESHOLD.  Please read, and let's have a discussion about it!

Here are some links to purchase the book:

Devin O'Branagan's Website
Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Life Is A Movie...Now Pay Me

Oh, the injustice!  Oh, the horror!  Imagine having your very own story stolen from you.  There you are minding your own business and muddling through this mad, crazy world, when you decide to take a break from all the chaos and go see a movie.  You know, escape from reality for a couple of hours.

Well, lo and behold, instead of being entertained and amused, you witness your very own life playing out right there on the big screen!  That is the claim of one Michael Alan Rubin.  Mr. Rubin has filed a lawsuit claiming the movie The Hangover Part 2 ripped off his life story.  He claims the film stole its story from the screenplay he wrote chronicling his mishaps in Asia.
Wait, what?

I am pretty sure that The Hangover Part 2 stole its story from The Hangover Part One.  Anyone who has seen it can tell you that it is the exact same movie only in a different location.  But if this dude can file an actual lawsuit claiming a movie plot was his own life story, then I am making an appointment to see my attorney tomorrow.  I think I have some very solid cases, and I smell a big, fat settlement coming my way.

For one, the movie The Jerk took a very personal moment, the first time I saw my name published, and shared it with the world:

If that isn't bad enough, how about the personal moments I spend with my family?  The movie Uncle Buck obviously has my car wiretapped to catch all the conversations I have with my two nieces and my nephew:

Then, to add insult to injury, even my relaxation time with friends has been ripped from my life and splashed all over the silver screen by the movie Steel Magnolias:

And, it isn't just me.  I am taking my mother with me tomorrow to the lawyer's office.  I think she has a case as well.  Anyone who knows her at all would tell you this is certainly her disguised as a character in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes:

If all of the above isn't humiliating enough, I also have to live with the knowledge that my entire family has been followed, recorded, reviewed, and imitated.  This may qualify as a class-action lawsuit.  The movie Sordid Lives is obviously based on my very own family:

All I can say is if Mr. Michael Alan Rubin thinks his life story is movie-worthy, he ain't met me yet.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mary Breckinridge Editorial

Mrs. Breckinridge
 2011 was the 50th anniversary of Hyden’s Mary Breckinridge Festival.  For half a century, the proud residents of Leslie County have come together the first weekend in October to celebrate the life and legacy of Mary Breckinridge, a remarkable visionary to whom many in this county literally owe their lives. 

Mary Breckinridge came to Leslie County in 1925 with intentions of helping some of the most underserved and needy Americans.  She developed a system to bring quality healthcare to the families of Leslie County at a time when Leslie was one of the most remote, unreachable places in the entire United States.  Having neither hospitals nor doctors to work with was not a deterrent to Ms. Breckinridge.  On horseback, she traveled up and down every holler in this county, and probably some of the neighboring ones, providing our families with professional medical care, treating them with dignity and respect.  

Ms. Breckinridge was the first person to use the concept of nurse-midwifery in the United States, making Hyden, KY, the nation’s birthplace for this field of healthcare.  She founded the Frontier Nursing Service which recently has morphed into Frontier Nursing University, the largest and foremost midwifery educational facility in the United States.
Perhaps more impressive than anything, though, are the thousands and thousands of FNS babies that are walking among us in Leslie County.  They are our preachers, teachers, mechanics, lawyers, accountants, bankers, supermarket check-out clerks, librarians, and house cleaners.  They are our neighbors, our friends, and our family.  Everyone who lives in Leslie County knows at least one person who was born with the help of a nurse-midwife from the Frontier Nursing Service.  My mother, along with all of her brothers and sisters, were brought into the world thanks FNS nurse-midwives.
(Statue of Mary Breckinridge in Hyden)
We deserve to be very proud of this legacy.  The University in our county has produced nurse-midwives that are working not only throughout the United States, but all over the world.  Most of the things people outside of our area hear about us are negative: drug problems, Mountain Dew mouth, poor and helpless people; but, Frontier Nursing University is educating professional nurse-midwives every semester, and those students are returning to their homes in every corner of our nation.  I can only hope that FNU is also instilling in them the heritage and vision of Mary Breckinridge, and her love for the people of this county as well.

The reason I question this at all is the 2011 Mary Breckinridge Festival parade last Saturday.  In every festival parade I can remember watching in downtown Hyden, and I have watched more than I care to share, a Frontier Nursing Service Courier (the FNS Courier program is another excellent program started by Ms. Breckinridge) led the parade walking with a riderless horse, in homage to the extraordinary Mary Breckinridge.  This year there was no riderless horse, no courier, no tribute to Ms. Breckinridge at all.  After the parade was over, I knew something was amiss, but could not quite put a finger on it.  When I finally realized what it was, that Ms. Breckinridge had not been honored at all, I was saddened and disappointed.

We all know the turmoil FNS and Mary Breckinridge Hospital has been through in the past year.  The struggle, resulting in the formation of Frontier Nursing University and the ARH system purchasing the hospital has been emotional and hurtful to many.  For years, the Mary Breckinridge Hospital was FNS’ public persona to the people of Leslie County.  Now that it no longer belongs to them, my hope is that they will find a new way to connect with the people who they have served, helped, and nurtured for nearly a hundred years. 

Change can be difficult, but great things can result from it.  One of Ms. Breckinridge’s strongest beliefs was that she must involve the local community in order to be successful. She stated many times her intention was to work through the community, not for the community.  As Frontier Nursing University begins its new life without Mary Breckinridge Hospital, I hope its leaders echo its remarkable founder’s sentiment.  I hope they remain involved in our community.  We desperately need them to do so. 

I hope that the riderless horse was just something that was accidently missed or fell through the cracks this year, and not a harbinger of more neglect of heritage and tradition to come.  Mary Breckinridge, and our county, deserves more respect than that.
(Mrs. Breckinridge and her beloved horse.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baby, I Really Was Born This Way

Since today is National Coming Out Day, I thought I would share you this picture, taken circa 1973.  The man on the right is Big Daddy Stewart and the girl on the left, afraid to look at the camera, is Sis.

The very suave young man in the middle wearing a dark brown shirt and red pants with pockets that match said shirt is me.  Oh yeah, I AM CARRYING A PURSE.  Of course, Hot Wheels, Batman, and a ball of some sort could be found inside the purse, as well as Mom's pink Avon hairbrush that I used for my microphone when pretending to be Cher.

Baby, I was born that way.

Happy Coming Out!

Telephone Part 2

Late last summer, I amused myself by rewriting Lady Gaga's song, "Telephone," to illustrate my frustration at never having a cell phone signal when I am in my hometown of Hyden.  I would like to tell you this update is to explain that we now get kick ass service here in the Big City, but that would be a lie.  Not much has changed in a year on that front.

What has changed, however, is that I finally found a sucker, er, I mean a friend, who was willing to actually sing the song for me.  That's right, lovelies, I now have a recording of my song.  In order to for her sing it, I had to agree to throw my voice in for some speaking parts.  I actually tried to sing it, thinking I could do Beyonce's part, but she edited all that out.  I can't imagine why.

Anyway, without further ado, I give you the song, Ain't Got No Telephone.  First, the lyrics (so you can sing along), then the actual song is below.

The Lyrics

Hello, hello, baby you called? I can’t hear a thing,

I have got no service here in Hyden you see, you see,
Wha-wha-what did you say, huh? You’re breaking up on me,
Sorry, I wish I could hear you, I’m bored and lonely.

B-bored and lonely,
B-bored and lonely,
Sorry, I cannot hear you
‘Cause I am bored and lonely.

You know how addicted I am to my phone, eh?
And I cannot text or call for days and days and days,
How was I to know Hyden ain’t served by ATT,
And now I can’t call and tell anybody.

Don’t stop callin’, stop callin’ don’t stop calling anymore,
I miss my calls, texts, apps and more.
Don’t stop callin’, stop callin’ don’t stop calling anymore,
I miss my calls, texts, apps and more.

Eh, eh eh, eh, eh, eh,
Eh, eh, eh
Telephone me!

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
Eh, eh, eh
I’m lonely!

Eh, eh eh, eh, eh, eh,
Eh, eh, eh
Telephone me!

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
Eh, eh, eh
I’m lonely!

Call all you want, but there’s no signal,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone,
‘Cause I’m off the map and I ain’t go no app,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone.

Call all you want, but there’s no signal,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone,
‘Cause I’m off the map and I ain’t go no app,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone.

The way I’m blowin’ up my phone,
Won’t make no signal faster,
Won’t make no tower faster,
Won’t give me 3G faster.

I should’ve gone with Appalach Cell,
‘Cause this is a disaster,
Callin’ like a collector,
Sorry, I cannot answer.

Not that I don’t like it here, I just live in Lex-y,
And I am sick and tired of my phone not r-r-inging,
Sometimes I wish that I lived in Grand Central Station,
‘Cause I would not miss a single text or conversation.

Text or conversation,
Text or conversation,
Cause I would not miss a single
Text or conversation.

Don’t stop callin’, stop callin’ don’t stop calling anymore,
I miss my calls, texts, apps and more.
Don’t stop callin’, stop callin’ don’t stop calling anymore,
I miss my calls, texts, apps and more.

Don’t stop callin’, stop callin’ don’t stop calling anymore,
I miss my calls, texts, apps and more.
Don’t stop callin’, stop callin’ don’t stop calling anymore,
I miss my calls, texts, apps and more.

Eh, eh eh, eh, eh, eh,
Eh, eh, eh
Telephone me!

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
Eh, eh, eh
I’m lonely!

(What do you mean the picture doesn't look real?!)
Eh, eh eh, eh, eh, eh,
Eh, eh, eh
Telephone me!

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
Eh, eh, eh
I’m lonely!

Call all you want, but there’s no signal,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone,
‘Cause I’m off the map and I ain’t go no app,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone.

Call all you want, but there’s no signal,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone,
‘Cause I’m off the map and I ain’t go no app,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone.

My telephone, m-m-my telephone,
‘Cause I’m off the map,
And I ain’t got no app,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone.

My telephone, m-m-my telephone,
‘Cause I’m off the map,
And I ain’t got no app,
And you’re not gonna reach my telephone.

We’re sorry the number you have reached is not in service at this time,
Please check the number,
Or try your call again.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

My tongue-in-check Glorious Return to the Radio

As some of you may know, I often contribute to a weekly radio show called Keep Hearing Voices, Saturdays at noon, on Crescent Hill Radio.  Crescent Hill Radio is a non-profit, community based radio station in Louisville, Kentucky.  You can listen to it at   

The creator and producer of the Keep Hearing Voices show decided to take off the month of September and run repeats of the show.  She needed a break from the constant hassle of another non-paying, thankless job.  She already has one of those being the mother of twins, so I suppose stopping the radio show for a month was easier than running away from home.

(Oh yes, men can be divas.)
Being the diva of her show, I had to make life hard on her for pulling the plug on my stardom for an entire month.  This week was my return to the radio for a new show, and it went so splendidly, I decided to share with you my segment on here.  I know you are excited, but settle down!

First is the printed copy, then you can click the link and listen to the show in all its glory.  And before you say anything, let me just cut you off right here and say, "You're welcome!"

 I began my blog,  A Strong Man’s Cup of Tea, well over a year ago.  I knew I wanted to write SOMETHING, I just didn’t know what.  A blog seemed to be a good way to get in some practice and see if this entire “writing thing” was for me.  My quandary was what type of blog should I write?  There are a zillion blogs out there, covering every subject from animals to zoology (wait, is that the same subject?).   

(Write about what you know...ME)
I knew that MY blog would need to deal with subject matter that would be worthy of my time, effort, talent, and, let’s face it, my enormous potential fan base.    What could be that important , that entertaining, that educational?  After weighing all the options, it really came down one to obvious choice for the subject matter: ME.  I would write a blog about myself, sharing my stories and experiences with the world, and in so doing, garner an enormous group of sophisticated fans all hungry for more Keith-isms.

(The reaction I get around town.)
I completely threw myself into A Strong Man’s Cup of Tea and wrote about many, many things that happened to me.  Now, to say it was an overnight success would not be accurate.  It did take many months for me to write stories and posts and tidbits.  But it was a success nonetheless.  I began to be known around town as ” the man you shouldn’t embarrass yourself in front of because he will write about it.”    Not real catchy, but I will take it. 

After the blog’s success, I received an interesting phone call from friend, Marie Direction, telling me she was putting together a new radio show called “Keep Hearing Voices” and would love if I would be a part of it.  

(artist's rendition of that conversation)
Well, I knew the offers for things would start soon after I had the blog on solid footing, but I never DREAMED that non-profit community radio would come calling so fast!  I told Marie Direction that I just didn’t know, I would have to think about it.  That led to a little begging on her part, and she then explained her show was based on the concept that no one voice was any better than anyone else’s, but c’mon, she needed me to anchor the show.  Those are her words, not mine.  I told her I would sleep on it and let her know my decision the following day.  

The next morning I had just finished my daily inspection of my sideburns, making sure the right one, which grows freakishly faster than the left one, was not obscenely longer than its mate, and was beginning to floss my teeth when I thought,  “Oh Hell, I'll do it!”    

(Marie gives good.)
I called Marie and told her the good news.  She was so relieved and couldn’t wait to to get started!  I then said , “But, Marie Direction, whatever shall I TALK about?”  Marie replied with words I still live by to this day.  She said, “Darlin’, you talk about what made you famous.  Talk about yourself.”  I took her advice and never looked back.  

(my star was rising)
I told stories on the radio of my adventures ripping down gas pumps at gas stations, having mini strokes trying to participate in Bikram Yoga class, and ranted about things that got on my nerves.  My stock quickly rose in the non-profit community radio scene.  I was the star among stars in the Keep Hearing Voices stable.  Even that ol’ Justus Redfern and Hepatica Willowwhistle couldn’t touch me.  The reactions from my listeners was very gratifying, especially when people posted more accolades on my Facebook wall than on the Glass Woman's or even Marie Direction's.  

Life was sweet milk, and I was drinking my fill of it.

Suddenly, during the last week of August, I was sorting through my fan email, which is, that’s, and decided to scroll through Facebook for awhile.  

And there it was.  

Bigger than life.

A post on Marie Direction’s wall stating that the Keep Hearing Voices radio show would not air new shows for an entire month.  A MONTH.  I was shocked.  Stunned.  I had received no notice, no severance pay, no nothing. NOTHING.  Friends, I have been fired from many jobs, and have never been treated so rudely or coldly.  It cut like a knife.

(Bette Davis, not Andy Davis)
What would my captive, potato chip eating audience do?   How can they possibly survive a whole month without my clever radio antics? More importantly, what would I do?  How would I survive without the love and support of my fans, my public, my lovelies?   It didn’t help matters that as I threw myself onto my chaise lounge, defenseless and wounded, Andy took one look at my antics and did his imitation of Bette Davis in the movie All About Eve, taking a drag of his cigarette and snapping the words, “Poor Eve,”  in my face.  "Et tu, Andy," is all I could say, "Et tu, Mother F@(#&r?"

(I don't really wear high heals)
My September of shame  was horrid.  I was shunned by the world.  I pulled myself together enough to get off my chaise every Saturday at noon to see if, perhaps, anyone was tuning in to our re-runs.  Maybe someone will hear again my story of breaking the church window during a funeral or the time I got my arm stuck in the toilet in the gym bathroom.  Someone will hear my brilliance and post something on my Facebook wall.   

I listened to them all, and I gotta say it, my segments were dazzling.  I laughed, shook my head, and thought “this will all work out OK.”  I kept my eye on my Facebook wall, waiting for the posts to come.  Nothing.  I checked Marie Direction’s wall. Nada. Nothing from the Glass Woman, Justus, or even Hepatica, who I felt I was mentoring to be a radio star in her own right. 

Nothing from those singers Jenrose or Roberta. Nothing nothing nothing.

But as I headed back to the chaise lounge, it hit me.  I had been cut off before, and I had survived.  I went from being a very popular app-man to an isolated hermit in one fell swoop when I moved from Lexington to Hyden.  I went from having 3G cell service to no service at all, but I was only isolated because I had no signal.  No one COULD get to me.  It wasn’t me at all!  It was them!  So, THIS must be explanation for no one giving me any love in September.  They have all moved away, somewhere they don't have high speed internet, and either can't listen to the archive reruns, or else HAVE listened all along, but are unable to connect to Facebook to congratulate me on being so hilarious and talented.

(Knowledge is power.)
I understood completely now.  Thank the Lord it was them and not me, all along. What a relief!

So with that understanding that you were just not able to get to me last month, I humbly and sincerely say to you, my captive fans, “I accept your apology, and, you are forgiven.”  

Now, here is the link to the radio version.  Please take a listen!

KHV Oct 8, 2011 by Crescent Hill Radio

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Death Becomes Me

I have been thinking a lot about death lately.  I know, I know, a grim subject, but let's face it we all deal with death every day.  It may be as something as small and insignificant as the fading flowers outside your window or your smashing the guts out of the mosquito that was trying to feed on you, but it is still death. A common Appalachian belief is that death tends to occur at the changing of the seasons, and perhaps that is why I have been thinking about it so much.

What I have been trying to figure out is what I truly think happens after this life is over.  Not what I was taught in church or by my parents or by watching television or by reading books.  What I am trying to find is what I, deep down in my core, think about it.  Have you ever done that?  It isn't easy, but sometimes it is necessary. 

Unfortunately, the only ones who have the true answer to this are the people who have already died so they aren't much help in finding an answer.  That is, unless you believe people can communicate with the dearly departed, which is a possibility, I suppose.  But, I am not one of those people who can communicate with the dead, so here I am back at square one wondering and contemplating.

I have been reading what different cultures and religions think happens to a person after death, and the choices are wide and varied.  If you are open to new possibilities, you can find just about any answer if you search long enough.  Google and Bing offer a gazillion answers.  Ultimately, though, you have to take the time and effort to dig deep inside to find your own truth and your own way.

One concept that I do think is simply intriguing is reincarnation.  I love the concept that we keep living lives over and over until we finally achieve spiritual perfection.  If you don't get it right this time, well there is always next time.  Of course, the down side of that is that next time you may find yourself a cockroach or a coyote. 

I don't understand why people are always saying they would like to come back as a butterfly.  Sure butterflies are beautiful and happy and whimsical, but they live for what, a day?  If I am going to come back as something other than a human, I want to be something big, powerful, and just for kicks, scary.  I think it would be pretty cool to be an owl or a tiger or a shark.  I also think that my thoughts on this subject make it clear how low on the spiritual perfection totem pole I am currently.  An untold number of lives would need to be lived in order for me to get to Shark Level, and because of this alone,  I rule out reincarnation in my contemplating.

So I will continue the process, trying to sort through the beliefs and options until I find something that I can believe in and come to terms with.  I will assume the lotus position and meditate on it, until my mind wanders and I start wondering if Sookie will stay Eric or go back to Bill, and if Alcide will finally make a move on her on the next True Blood.  

I have a long journey ahead of me.