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The New Smoker magazine Issue No.4 January 2015 Editor-in-Chief S.G. Clarke Design Director

S.G. Clarke

Art Directors

SJ George Ram Folger

Executive Editors

S.G. Clarke SJ George

Copy Editor

Joe DePatta


Follow The New Smoker on Facebook® , Twitter® , Instagram® & Issuu®

Christine Spehar A.H. Black Cho Cho Wille Mangas Frank Lauria Clark Greene Daniel Freedman Henrik Sahlstrom Soren Gray Jim Greer A Medieval Woman Chef Tiffany Friedman Dyson Bronti Luca Belloiu Larry Snelly

All contents © 2015 The New Smoker. The New Smoker has nothing to do with tobacco or any of it’s related products. The New Smoker magazine is published and distributed by The New Smoker does not condone or endorse any illegal use of any products or services advertised herein. All materials are for educational purposes only. The New Smoker recommends consulting an attorney before considering any business decision or venture. We take no responsibility for the actions of our readers. A number of characters and images appearing in this magazine are parody, satirical or fictitious. Any resemblance to any persons, living, created, or dead, is purely coincidental.



MOST MEMORABLE MARIJUANA MOMENTS 6. 2014 was a big year for cannabis. Here’s some of our top picks. WEED AND WINE Introducing the “Weed and Wine Tasting Party”


GLITCHES: PART 4 Continuing A Fiction of Truth:


THE ART OF LIMITATIONS 23. An interview with “High Maintenance” creators Ben & Katja HIGH ART Artists through the ages inspired by intoxicating inhalations


HOW TO HANG WITH SOMEONE WHO’S HIGH Tips on how to interact with the stoned when you’re not


ONYX Part II of Stimulus: Onyx, a short graphic-novel


STONED SOBER A personal testimony of how to stay sober and high.


SPIRIT HAWK A savage short story of revenge, bloodlines, and honor.


BOB DYLAN SLEEPS ON MY FLOOR Our cannoisseur Uncle Frank’s beatnik memoir continues.


CHEF TIFF’S RECIPES Winter recipes from Chef Tiffany Friedman


PINEAPPLE EXPRESS A review of a tropical Sky-River strain


MUSIC. MARIJUANA. MOODS. MYSTICS 62. On tour with Chali2na. A.G., Casual, Gavin, Tim Carter, Kelly, Kitka, Gabriel, and a whole lot of grass. HIGH-FI Sometime it’s good to be bad... music. Really bad.


THE BUBBLE BOY 72. What would happen if you actually respond to one of those scamspam emails? Let’s find out.


Notes from a New Smoker Welcome to the fourth issue of The New Smoker magazine:

It’s About Time.


ach year it seems like cannabis culture has grown exponentially, breaking through the cracks in the mainstream like some kind of super... weed. (Well, there you go.)


nd this year was no exception. The marijuana movement again grew in leaps and bounds. Two more states, plus D.C., legalized recreational marijuana. Not to mention more states passed medical marijuana legislations. Former U.S. Senators left to join major marijuana corporations. The Federal government relaxed enforcement within states that have pro-marijuana laws on the books.

drive by. It no longer reeks of the edgy in the not so long ago past, when desperation of cocaine and crack. It marijuana was the dreaded gateway smells like sunshine and smiles. drug. And we all were to “Just Say No!” like Orwellian mindless drones, veryday more and more people given no room for personal choice, are coming out of the “grow exploration, and experiential growth. closet” as pro cannabis. Celebrities ow we “Just Say Know” and are like Sarah Silverman and Zach Galiincreasingly becoming cannabis fianakis openly blazing on TV. Youeducated, something that was previTube hit “Getting Doug With High” ously shunned away from any valid shows pot-icon comedian Doug Benexamination. Now the light shines son getting baked with high profile bright and reveals what we thought celebrities and comedians (and some was once a scary monster, to be a soft not so high profile one...), like Jack stuffed toy in the dark corner of the Black, Andy Richter, Aubrey Plaza, mental cribs of our own naiveté. David Cross... to name but a few.




lus, high quality cannabis laced t feels like it’s just a matter of time shows are making major media before everything swings our way. strides, like Comedy Central’s edgy It’s like we are just on the cusp of this “Broad City” (aka Baked City...), rising wave of marijuana liberation... or Vimeo’s first original web series “High Maintenance” (interviewed in where normal people don’t have to this issue), that reveals marijuana look over their shoulder, duck and cover and cower to spark a bowl. Peo- enjoyment the daily lives of regular people. ple proudly vaporize cannabis in the open right along side of nicotine. Even n the media it’s a become playful joints are enjoyed more openly. The punch line. No longer the paranoid streets of LA smell of weed streaming open windows of happy houses as you war on mankind’s values like it was




nly just now is there starting to be a generation of New Smokers to whom cannabis will be as regular a mainstream a thing as alcohol. When their favorite celebrity or politician is revealed to have enjoyed a bit of the refer instead of a cocktail, instead of questioning “How dare they?!” most of them will ask “What kind?”

-S.G. Clarke





was a big year for cannabis. There were so many important cannabis cultural events that happened through out the year, but we can’t cover them all. So here is The New Smoker’s selection of some of the year’s 10 most memorable moments. By A.H. Black Clark Greene

a n a u j i r a M le 4 b a 1 r o 20 m f e o M s t nt s Mo me Mo



Recreational Marijuana passed in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C.

Three more pieces of the American marijuana movement puzzle joined Colorado and Washington as states where adults over 21 can recreationally enjoy cannabis as easily as alcohol. (Well not that easy yet as it takes time for the law to be put into effect, and then they have to actually figured out just how to enact the law.) Fortunately recent federal laws have been relaxed.


Feds Relax Marijuana Enforcement

For years, law-abiding dispensaries have faced uncertain futures. They can finally now breathe a sigh of relief, and the same applies to law-abiding medical marijuana patients. In mid-December, the Senate approved a bill which will block the Depart-

ment of Justice from prosecuting or arresting anyone from the 32 states that currently have medical or recreational marijuana laws on the books. This means the Feds will finally respect the laws of the state - a measure which should satisfy liberal tokers and conservative Ron Swansons alike. While there are still many issues to resolve regarding medical marijuana taxation and banking, this (relatively quiet) bill being passed is a massive leap forward for the entire medical marijuana community.

”Charlotte’s Web” Is Now More Than a Kids’ Book


Charlotte, a young child in Colorado, had been suffering through 30+ seizures a day due to a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. Her parents had tried everything to alleviate their child’s seizures and nothing did the trick…until

Images Sourced from: 123RF and Shutterstock, graphics by S.J George

they started researching the medical benefits of cannabis. Working with a dispensary in Denver, they collaborated to create a new, high CBD/low THC strain named “Charlotte’s Web.” Her seizures have since dropped dramatically, and the strain is currently helping others with epilepsy and cancer live productive, pain-free lives. There’s no denying the medical benefits of CBD for people who deal with severe pain. Let’s hope that in 2015 the Charlotte’s Web strain becomes even more accessible for chronic pain sufferers across the nation.


TV Characters Are Higher Than Ever

At one point on TV, weed was a taboo subject. Now it seems like every other character is hitting a vape when on-screen — and it’s no big deal. From ‘Broad City’ and ‘Workaholics’ on Comedy Central to ‘Wilfred’ on FX 7


and ‘Deadbeat’ on Hulu, popular shows (and their marketing) are fully committed to their characters being fullon stoners with zero subtlety. And it’s awesome! Plus, while it’s technically a web series, ‘High Maintenance’ on Vimeo is not only proving that stoner content can be highly intelligent, its creators are making innovative strides in the online distribution game. (Read more about ‘High Maintenance’ in our interview with its creators Ben & Katja in this month’s issue!)

Sarah Silverman Shows Off Her ‘Liquid Pot’ Pen at The Emmy’s


Typically, the pre-awards show “red carpet” events are boring and predictable. Reporters ask celebrities “who they’re wearing,” manicures are fawned over, asses are

kissed and that’s pretty much it. Thankfully, Sarah Silverman was a nominee at the 2014 Emmy’s, and she’s the current queen of not giving a fuck (RIP, Joan Rivers). After E!’s Giuliana Rancic complimented her on her dress, she looked through Silverman’s clutch and found a fully functioning vape pen on national TV, no less. Sarah proudly presented her “liquid pot” pen to the viewing public, causing Twitter to explode from elated stoners scrambling to assemble 140 relevant characters on the matter. When red carpet Hollywood events serve to


function as vaporizer infomercials, it’s safe to say pot’s gone mainstream. There’s no going back from here!

5.5In a Related story:

Zach Galifinakis boldly smoked a real joint on TV. Known for his always edgy barrier breaking comedy, it isn’t difficult to imagine Zach to spark up a doobie... but when he did it on fellow marijuana enthusiast Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time during the taping he surprised, shocked and amazed the panel and the crowd. But no one was harmed and no laws were broken.

As more and more marijuana influenced subsidiary businesses are cropping up, together with the health benefits of marijuana becoming increasingly explored, it was just a matter of time before someone merged ganja with yoga. Many cannabis enthusiasts have enjoyed the combination of highs for years, but now it’s going mainstream with marijuana infused yoga classes offered in SF, LA, Boulder, CO., and Seattle.


7.5. Plus NBC News exec-

utive Al Olson leaves to head Cannabis news site: He took over as managing editor of and will “primarily be in charge of the site’s expanding editorial coverage of marijuana-related news as well as building a reporting team for the news site.”


Cannabis Goes Corporate


Marijuana Yoga Classes Become A Thing

From the news that Former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) became the new CEO of a marijuana company that produces cannabis-infused products for both recreational and medical use. KUSH, a subsidiary owned by Cannabis Sativa, Inc. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson serves as CEO of Cannabis Sativa, and Gravel is on that company’s board of

Images Sourced from: 123RF and Shutterstock, graphics by S.J George


Cannabiz Booms

Colorado’s newly implemented pot legalization law, companies in the Cannabiz are seeing their penny stocks on the rise. According to a recent Bloomberg report, from January 2014, pot-related penny stock values are going through the roof. 9


“Vape” Made Oxford

Dictionary’s Word Of The Year 2014

While “vape” includes nicotine products as well as cannabis ones, the vaping side of cannabis culture has increased exponentially in the past couple of years. So the combination of the rise of e-cigs and the multitude of


various cannabis based vaporizers has led to the fact that You are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year. Note: This graph (left) from OxfordDictionaries. com shows the usage of vape peaked in April 2014 (Probably 4/20/2014 to be almost exact). Around this time a few ‘vape café’ opened their doors in select cities around the world. Also protests were held in response to New York City banning indoor vaping. In the same month, the issue

of vaping was being widely debated by The Washington Post, the BBC, and major newspapers worldwide.


The New Smoker Launches Issue No.1!

Saving the best for last, we started bringing class to grass on 4/20/2014!


Co-creator of a new style of pairing cannabis strains with fine wine.




The Weed and Wine Tasting Party You’re Welcome.

Several years before Colorado legalized medical or recreational marijuana, I found myself sitting around a table with a couple of friends in Boulder, wholeheartedly ignoring that small detail. In those days we spent long nights listening to records and discussing the finer points of everything that filled our senses: music, wine and marijuana, mainly. It was a highly enjoyable time, and one to which I’m sure many readers can relate. During one of these night-time gatherings, it dawned on two of my friends that marijuana and wine were more than just coincidental companions. Tasting different types of wine with different strains of weed, they came to an exhilarating conclusion: just as delicious flavor nuances could be discovered by pairing food and wine, similar enhancements could occur when pairing weed and wine. A little smoke blown into the bowl of a wine glass, then inhaled while drinking, could yield a new world of taste explosions.


eed and wine: it’s a natural union, really. Wine descriptors, including gasoline, earthy, and mineral, are often applied to weed strains. Similarly, food descriptors like spicy, meaty, citrus and honey, frequently depict marijuana strains as well.


eed and wine cultures, by contrast, have not always gone hand-in-hand. Marijuana users are usually pigeon-holed as slacker-stoners, while avid wine drinkers can be seen as stuffy and elitist.


uckily, thanks to legalization and some positive media exposure, the perception of cannabis is shifting; it is no longer seen as a “frat boy” substance in many crowds. At the same time, wine culture is not as prim as it once was. All you have to do is run to Trader Joe’s to grab a bottle of “Two Buck Chuck” to see what I mean. Slowly, the two worlds are coming together with interesting results. Melissa Etheridge is even touting a line of

weed-infused wine, which is be- background. coming a popular practice among ur six wine varietals includCalifornia winemakers. ed Riesling, Chenin Blanc, nd so with the changing Rose, Pinot Noir, Cotes du Rhone times comes the dawn of a and Tempranillo. Near the wine, new social gathering: The Weed we arranged samplings of our choand Wine Tasting. Read on for our sen marijuana strains: Jack Herexperience, and for our favorite er, Allen Wrench, Lambs Breath, wine and weed pairings. Here’s Pineapple Express, Barry White, hoping it will encourage you to Larry OG and Skywalker OG. hold a similar gathering with your favorite flavors—and people. As always, please know your limits and consume responsibly. Sip, Whiff, Puff



The Protocol:

The Scene: Classy Meets Casual

Here’s how it’s done:


) Each participant, armed with his/her own wine glass, one-hitith a few candles and com- ter, pad of paper and pen, chooses a fortable seating for ten comfortable seat around the table. guests, we filled a table with delicious hors d’oeuvres that featured ) Once ready, everyone receives something for everyone, from saa small pour of wine while the vory to sweet. We arranged six bot- host reads a brief description of the tles of wine, selected from a variety beverage we’re about to enjoy. We of regions, including France, Spain swirl, smell, and taste our wine. and California, in order from light to dark. Jazz music played in the







) One or two previously se) Tip the wine glass towards lected herb strains are passed your lips and inhale the smoke around. Each participant smells through your nose and this time the strain(s) and, if the option is into your lungs, while drinking the available, chooses his/her preferred wine. strain based on aroma. ) Blow the smoke out normal) Now for the fun part: each ly, noticing any unique flavors participant takes a small nip of that cross your palette. weed and places it in the one-hitter. The herb and wine are consumed simultaneously, as detailed below, using the “Smoke on the Water” Choose Your Own technique. Adventure



The Pairings:



) Participants write down the s with wine and food, blendflavors and distinctions they noing weed and wine is really tice, and discuss! all up to personal preference. Play with it and see what you like! However, we discovered some rules that worked for us, and might for you, Smoke on the Water too.

The Method:


hough many methods may work to sample weed and wine together, this is our tried and true technique. Please note that smoking does influence one’s sense of smell, and therefore affects the taste of the wine. However, enjoying the aroma of the wine and marijuana strain before smoking can counteract this. Smoking marijuana while imbibing wine in this manner brings about entirely new, unexplored flavor sensations.


) Puff on a joint or pipe like a cigar, pulling the smoke into your mouth but not inhaling it into your lungs.


) Release the smoke into the bowl of your wine glass, which should contain about 1.5 oz. wine. A Burgundy or Bordeaux wine glass, with a bowl that is larger than the opening, is the best kind for this purpose.



ithout further ado, here are our notes.

Light White: The Wine: Albarino Blanco (Riesling) by Albaro Cereceda, Spain: apple, peach, citrus notes. The Strain: Jack Herer: piney, astringent aroma, “sweet pinesol cat spray” The Pairing: Caramel, burnt sugar, crème Brule flavors The Quote: “Tastes and feels like a hazy day on the lawn.”

Full Bodied White: The Wine: Chenin Blanc By Vouvray, France: tart cherry, marmalade and nutty notes. The Strain(s): Allen Wrench (sweet honey, citrus aroma) and Lambs Breath (pine, tar, and gasoline aroma).

The Pairing: (mixed with Allen Wrench): hazelnut, peanut, and nougat. Pralines, Honey Nut e found sativa strains blend- Cheerio flavors. ed well with white wines, hybrid strains with medium-bod- The Pairing: (mixed with Lamb’s ied wines, and indica strains with Breath): campfire, marshmallows, darker red wines. We also thought s’mores, pipe tobacco and cedar the more sedative quality of red flavors. wine was a nice fit with the relaxing buzz of indica strains. The The Quote: “This would be lighter drinkability of white wines great for breakfast, reminds me of went nicely with the more alert oatmeal, almonds and fruit.” high created by sativa strains.



Rosé The Wine: Côtes de Provence by Sables d’Azur, France: mineral and grapefruit notes. The Strain: Berry White: spicy, leathery aroma. The Pairing: double spice, cinnamon and clove flavors. The Quote: “The smoke and the wine together brought out the spiciness in both.”

Light Red The Wine: Pinot Noir by Sextant, Central Coast, California: spicy, chocolate notes The Strain: Larry OG: soft skunk aroma The Pairing: forest, burnt chocolate chip cookie flavors. The Quote: “Like a black cherry, covered in chocolate and melted in campfire smoke.”

Medium Bodied Red The Wine: Côtes du Rhône by Soleil des Garrigues, France: soft, bitter, spicy and earthy notes The Strain: Skywalker OG The Pairing: Christmas spice, vinegar The Quote: “Reminds me of Christmas wine.”

Full Bodied Red



urrounded by nine of our closest friends (and acquaintances who shared our passion for wine and marijuana), we found this wine and weed tasting to be a pretty spectacular way to spend a Saturday night—a dose of culture mixed with good ol’ fashioned fun. Our crowd was comprised of both wine and weed aficionados, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. While things did get a little unfocused at times, we found taking breaks for eating and chatting was a good way to re-center.


s the notion of wine and weed The Wine: Tempranillo by Volvpairings evolves, we can all er, Spain: zinfandel grape, peppery hope to learn a lot about the best dark cherry, black currant, hot ways to blend them, and have a ton and spicy notes. of fun in the process. We hope to hold more gatherings like this in The Strain: Pineapple Express the future—with a whole world of The Pairing: toasty, smoked car- varietals and strains out there to explore, can you blame us? Keep amel, with woody undertones. and eye (and nose) out for one of The Quote: “The first inhale af- these events near you, soon! ter you blow smoke into the glass Editor’s Note: is when you get the most flavor.” When holding a tasting ensure you’re well within your Country’s or State’s Laws regarding Cannabis Regulations. In CA ensure guests have vaild Medical Marijuana iD’s. Guests also must be of legal drnking age.



Glitches Previously: What happens after your girlfriend jumps off a cliff; you find out you can stop time; and your best friend tries to shoot you in the face before you escape to a sex-club run by a dangerous old acquaintance who tries to poison you? Find out in:

Part 4



hite. Nothing but white. Pure white. Not as the absence of color, but as the total combination of it. The full spectrum… unbroken. I see nothing else. Just everything. Just White. My first thought is that I’m back. But I still feel switched over… and the texture’s all wrong. My next thought is maybe my eyes are fried. Light-blinded. The White has no horizon. No perspective. No reference. Nothing... My eyes feel open but they can’t see. I try to say something but can’t hear a sound. I gesture to bring up a basic HUD, but nothing pops up in front of me. Not even the sight of my hands as I lift them up to my face. No body below when I look down. I breathe in deeply. Try to calm a rising panic. Try to not focus on unknowns. Try to detach myself, let go, switch over. But I can’t quite shift… out. I stand, swim, float, lie here for an eternity… or maybe only seconds. It’s hard to tell time without spatial reference… seeing only nothing. Only everything. Only White. 16

Where the hell am I? I should be dead. I should be done. I should be back. I feel dizzy, as if I’d been spinning in circles for way too long and only now just stopped. But the White still gives me no reference to be able to tell if I’ve stopped spinning… or ever started at all. There is… something. Sound. Somewhere, a sound. Then again, and a sound turns into a word “Five” I hear it inside… out there. Then more words, “four... three... two… one” I hear a voice, as familiar as home. Her voice. My Poly. “to come... together… is to come… undone” She sounds distant. In-between. Beyond. “One… two… three, four, five.“ She continues the childhood nursery rhyme “ say goodbye, is to stay alive.” Her voice sounds calm, but her words are urgent and grow more distant with each syllable. “E. can you hear me?” I start to gravitate to her voice like a homing beacon. “Yes, angel, but I can’t see you” I think I say out loud, but can’t hear my own voice. Not even the tiny bones in my ears tell me I’ve spoken a sound. “I can’t quite get a fix on you” I think I say, still unable to hear myself. I want to follow her words back like breadcrumbs home, but something keeps me tethered. Stuck. Unable to detach.

IMAGE: “Galactic Dust in Magnetic Fields” ESA/Planck Collaboration



“Hurry hun, it’s not safe.” Her voice suddenly much farther now, echoing away from me in the way oncoming sleep steals one’s attachment to sound. Her words detach from their maker’s meaning, float into the ether and elasticity of dream... until I no longer can tell if she was there at all. “Wait Poly, come back... don’t leave!” But I hear nothing, just the silence where the sound of my shouts should be. I focus back into the pregnant void of White sensing a change in the expanse, a new closeness around me. But I still see nothing. Wait. Something’s out there. Or are my eyes creatively hallucinating, making something out of nothing to keep my stimuli starved mind occupied? No. I do see... movement (if white can move, ripple, undulate). Like tuning in old tube TVs from spastic static to the right frequency to get the clearest picture. Light waves, like sound waves, like water waves... motion creating variance in shades to entice my sight. The fluctuations flicker fast at first, but then they seem to slow down and begin to settle into some sense of semblance. I hear a rumble. Like distant thunder getting closer. The white light waves wax and wane with each echoing rumble. 18

Undulating shades start to blur and break from pure white into off-white colors, then blend into deeper true hews. Full visible spectrum. The colors congeal and come together into a cohesive, albeit blurred, picture for me. One my mind can at least begin to process. But the tuning in, for the moment, is still partially tuned out. I hear the thunder rumble again, only this time closer. Deeper… with a familiar… rhythm. Like laughter. Chuckles. As I listen closer, it seems to clarify into more of a low voice. Deep. Familiar. Close. Playfully sing-song-saying something I’ve heard before. “Tommy, can you hear me? Can you see or feel me? Tommy… Tommy?” Was someone trying to badly sing The Who at me? Who knows The Who?? Then another low chuckle. Distant thunder now nearer to my ears. “Quinn? ‘that you...?” I weakly test. My own voice coming in through my inner ears this time. “It’s alive!” He shouts in archetypal mad-scientist fashion followed by louder laughs. The spinning sensation in my head slows, and my blurred vision clears and rests on Quinn’s albino influenced pale-white face hovering above me, smiling that big smug grin of his. “Where the fuck...??” I

attempt to get up, but find I am pinned to the ground by Quinn’s big hands on my shoulders. I try to struggle and fight my way up, but I’m as weak as a kitten with a cold. “Easy my boy, take it easy. You’re alright. You’re still with us. You almost lost You, but you’re fine now.” He wide smiles, bright white teeth flashing. “Fuck that! You tried to kill me, you dick!” I struggle some more, but it’s no use. “I just saved you, my friend. Why would I want you dead?” Quinn holds me firmly. “You tell me. You’re the one who tried to shoot my fucking face off like an hour ago.” I stop struggling and just give him my best I’m-gonna-kill-thefuck-outta-you face. “True, I did fire my gun at your head - though more like 10 hours ago- but I wasn’t trying to kill you, dear friend. I was trying to bring you to life.” Quinn lets my arms go, and helps me up off the floor. I don’t like his cryptic answer, but I’m too disoriented to try and dig any deeper. Plus I sense that’s probably the most he’ll share anyways. I stand up and look around, still dizzy, but things finally begin to come into full focus. I’m in what looks like a classic Lincoln Log cabin made of giant stacked and interlocked trees logs. A cozy fire calmly crackles

inside a large grey stone fireplace. Tacked up on the surrounding wall-logs around the mantel hang hand drawn fish of various shapes, size, and artistic ability. Lifetimes of making proud catch-trophies. Still brain fogged and slow, something he’d said suddenly hits me: Wait, 10 hours?? Where was I all that time if I wasn’t back… and where the fuck are we now? “Where the fuck are we?” I echo my last question out loud. “We’re in my other Alt’s family fishing cabin. A great place for a getaway. Have I never brought you here? You don’t know that side of me do you? Well I haven’t been here in ages, but it seemed like the right place to bring you. One of my Bubbles. One hundred percent private. Popped off from the prime-brane... in it’s own isolated miniverse. No links left to find.” Quinn says proudly. “Why? Who the hell wants me so bad we gotta go dark? Sure as shit not Méchant. She’s a cruel selfish bitch, but I’ve dealt with her before.” I still feel shaky and sit myself into a soft white fox-fur lined rocking chair by the fire. “Five four three two one… to come together is to come undone.” I hear Poly’s voice again, close, but somewhere way in the back of my head. “She’s not trouble, but she’ll lead real trouble


right to us.” Quinn says. “Wait, slow down. What are you talking about? What kinda trouble am I in? Are we in…??” I sink into the chair. My eyes can’t seem to keep focus. I feel tugged at, this time from the other direction. My eyes close again. Damn it. “How long have I been here?” With a deeper concern in his voice, Quinn says “You’ve been in longer than as you’ve been out.” “You’re always such a cryptic fuck…” I mumble to Quinn, feeling myself fading. “One two three four five… to say goodbye, is to stay alive.” Poly’s voice pulls at me. I drift out to her. “Five by Five, angel…

Five by Five” I try to reply, not sure if it was out loud or not. “Shit, I think we’re losing him again.” I can hear Quinn say to someone else in the cabin. Realizing we’re not alone, I try to turn to see who, but my head won’t move like it wants. “I told you we’d run out of time” says another woman’s voice I know all too well and am shocked to hear her anywhere near me right now. “He was knocked out for too long. Your hold was enough to keep him here -maybe give us a chance- but it took too long for him to come to. He’s gotta switch soon, or else he’ll be no good to us. We’d have to start from scratch.” “Cay?” I try and croak

out “is that you??” I try and turn around to see behind me, but I can’t seem to get my head to move. “But we haven’t had time to get him ready” Quinn says ignoring me. “It’s going to have to wait. If he doesn’t go back now, he’s done.” Cay’s voice calmly insists. “Please Quinn, let him go.” “Fine. But next time no games. We’re going straight in.” Quinn comes up behind me, and wraps his massive hands around the back of my head. “Ok, deal.” I hear Cay say as she walks around my chair and stands in front of me to where I can finally see her. “Just wait one second” She bends over. Black hair falls over low cut cleav-

age busting out of the sexy black leather suit I’d bought her that she’s still wearing from what now seems like forever ago, but was apparently only hours. “Cay, what are you doing here?” I ask multiply confused. “Aren’t you still mad at me? What the fuck is going on??” To shut me up, Cay caresses my face in her hands, pulls my lips up to hers and kisses me deeply. “Shhhhh, it’s all ok baby. How could I ever stay mad at my favorite face, hmmm?” She tilts her head back, smiles, and tries to reassure me. “Don’t be scared my love, I’ll tell you all I can… next time. But for now you’ve gotta go back...


back to her.” She pouts at this thought, but quickly recovers. “You’ve already been here way too long.” She lets go of my face, stands, and steps back, leaving me literally in Quinn’s hands. I want to refuse. I want to stay and demand they tell me what’s going on, but my brain won’t do what I want. It feels about as sturdy and clear as oatmeal mush. “Five… four... three, two, one…” Poly pulls to me. With Quinn’s hands still wrapped around the back of my head, he leans me back in the rocking chair and lays me flat on the floor. He locks eyes with me, upside down as he leans over me. “ come together, is to come undone.” The sweet sound of home. “Ok, I have to unhook from you. Don’t worry it shouldn’t hurt… much.” He chuckles to himself. “Let yourself fall into me. Focus on yourself… on who you are… and let the rest go...” He rumbles with a type of Om meditation note. The sound hits me deep in the chest and spreads throughout my body in a radiating warmth. I continue to stare into his eyes. Inside the event horizon rim of his white iris gone thin, his pupils are huge and black. Empty black. Black-hole black. I’m sucked in like light that can’t escape the grav20

ity of his singularity. I feel myself dissolve into the sound of his Om. I release any trepidation I have left and let go. Detach… “That’s it, let go... fall back. When I tell you make your move, switch. Ready…. steady... now!” I make the horizontal figure 8 gesture with both of my first fingers, tap them twice to my thumbs, and this... time... I… switch… out. =====


he image of Quinn’s face stopped, stilted, froze. E’s eyes saw nothing but the residual imprinted ghost images of his last sight: Quinn and Cay in the cabin... fading fast into darkness. Into nothing. His eyes tried to absorb any visual hint in the absence of light. He saw nothing but deep red, woven in with grey-blacks, performing a play of pumping blood in his inner eye. He tried to move but couldn’t tell if anything was responding. Panic again crept it’s way into his baser thoughts. He became mildly claustrophobic every time he switched out so late. He felt stuck in his body. At least it’s not all that White again. He reminded himself. E. tried to calm himself, breathing deeply. He heard his own breath in his ears and felt the air move on his chest. He tried to open his eyes,

but they felt crusted shut like when he was a little kid and his dad would use a warm wet towel to help him open them, then tell him he shouldn’t push himself so far. He wiggled his fingers and felt them move in and out of the thin electro-sense gloves as they rested on the arms of his fully reclined media modified lazy-boy. He slid his hands out. He pulled his black 4D immersive-sensor skullcap and eye-mask off of his hairless pale white head. Light stabbed his pale blue eyes for a sharp second as he squinted at true sunlight cracking dawn through the one window in this tiny closet-sized iso-chamber. He stood up out of his lazy-boy, his body’s imprint still left behind in the soft sense-gel lining where the seat cushion and chair back use to be. Naked, he stretched his skin and bones body up, bending his arms to avoid hitting the short ceiling above him. He pushed his hands into the middle of his bent back and tried rearranging a few discs to stop slouching and stand himself straight. His head started to spin as his vision dimmed and the sound of rushing blood pulsed through his ears in warm waves. He almost fell back, but caught himself just in time and took an extra deep breath to gain a bit more balance.

I was in way too long that time. He noted. So weak. He was that kind of shaky and weak that desperately needs something to eat more than the Gobar and veg-juice he’d had as breakfast, lunch and dinner... and here it was breakfast again. “Eppy... You’re back!” E. almost jumped out of his skin at the surprise sound of Poly shouting with glee behind him. “You were gone sooo long this time.” Her voice shifted into a concerned tone, tinged with the need to explain herself. “I was worried. I know you said not to come in when you’re switched. But it’s not good for you if you’re in too long. And it got way too long. So I tried to pull you out but it was really hard.” She gave me a shy hopeful look. “Thank you, my little guardian angel. You were right to get me this time.” He wrapped his arms around Poly with a deep warm hug and held her long. He nestled his head in between her neck and shoulder blade, just above her t-shirt top, and stayed there. He felt like he was physically drinking in the contact of her body with his, savoring the smell of her subtle rose-oil accented skin, like a thirsty man greedily guzzles water after being deprived for days in the desert. “Where would I be with-


out my sweet sweet Poly?” He kissed her deeply, then pulled in to hug her close again. Enough was never enough. E. lifted his head and looked out the small rectangular window behind her. He let his gaze drift through the thick triple-pane hazy glass, roam beyond the broken buildings outside, and over

a tortured wasteland of shattered earth baking under a merciless morning sun rising into an already angry red sky. Taking another deep breath, E. sighed to himself, “Looks like it’s gonna be another shitty day in paradise…”

To be continued next issue.


THE ART OF LIMITATIONS Maintaining the High with Ben & Katja Interpreted by SOREN GRAY


t’s 10am. Blurry-eyed I hit snooze on my cell phone alarm. Like most creative types, I’m a night owl tried and true. Anything before noon requires an alarm to wake me up, and today I’ve got a last minute morning interview with Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, the creators of High Maintenance, the new hit web series on At first glance, High Maintenance might seem to be all about weed, and weed delivery, in Brooklyn. But marijuana is just the common thread, the catalyst as it were, that

links, sparks, the show’s true stories: the lives of various crazy, fun, cool, neurotic, real-life characters. They just happen to all share a common weed delivery dealer, played by Ben himself. Dubbed “The Guy”, he weaves in and out of all these people’s different little worlds, like an accidental shaman bestowing bits of wisdom, along with his weed, upon each client he comes across, for better or sometimes worse. Then he’s gone in an almost “Who was that masked man?” Lone Ranger style. (Google it, kids) Each new character we

IMAGES: Portrait Photographs by Paul Kwiatkowski

meet in each episode is unique: a cross-dressing dad; an uptown stuck up pair; an agoraphobe; a homeless serial dater… to name but a few. All fascinating people to peek in on. These characters, all high maintenance in their own ways, don’t seem made up. They seem to be taken from fly-on-thewall moments... from people Ben and Katja know, or have maybe met, or at least heard about. This is what adds depth to this show, this sense of experiential truth. We know these people. We are these people. It’s getting close to 11am.

I’ve been up for only a half hour after multiple presses of the snooze button, still shaking cobwebs out of my head. I go over my notes and questions I hurriedly prepared the night before after suddenly finding out the interview would be the following day... get out my tape recorder, and wait for my phone to ring. I’m a bit disheartened by the lack of intimacy a phone-interview presents. But it was the only option scheduling would allow. It seems a cold and distant way of getting to know someone, and I’m a little worried the interview will suffer because it. 23



ortunately all the icy distance melts away the moment I hear the warm and friendly voices of Katja and Ben come through on the other line. Their immediate enthusiasm and presence fills up the tiny phone speaker as it chirps their voices to me. We chat for a little over 45 minutes about various topics… from the advantages and disadvantages of the sudden success of their passion project, to what it’s like to work together as a husband and wife team, to loneliness in crowds, and much more. Both are eloquent but casual speakers, patiently friendly, youthful in ways while also wise, and definitely excited to explore their show with me. Ben seems to be more of the outside-the-box big-dreamer type, creatively flowing ideas and dancing with his words and thoughts as we all chat. Katja seems the more practical one, speaking to the heart of the matter, and who will at times ground Ben if he seems to be floating too far off topic. One can tell they have been working a lot together in the way they talk, allowing space for the other to talk, while also getting in their own points.

Me: Hi Ben, Katja, how are you guys today? Katja: Hi. We’re great. Ben is just getting some water as we get situated.

Ben: (in back ground): Hi.

Me: I’ve found in many ways your show is very similar to our magazine in that strives to bring a kind of normalcy to marijuana. Showing how it’s more a part of everyday people’s lives and not some separate thing weird druggy people do. And you guys really nail it with your weed-dealer character being the thing that links these people together, but really the stories are about these different characters, and not about the dealer and some cliché potheads. Katja: Thanks. It’s cool to

see what you guys are doing as well. I’m hoping it’s the tip of the iceberg and we’re going to be seeing more of this kind of stuff. Our problem in the beginning was that everything associated with “stoner” lifestyle was always tacky and… there was no positive aesthetic associated with stoner culture.

Ben: It seemed like it was

reserved for the… slow of mind. Or the non-witty kind of blunt force humor. And we thought that subtly was being under-represented.

Katja: But even just in

terms of things that were available for sale, even... for marijuana enthusiasts… I mean just the look of it always seemed very… basic... or collegiate. Everything’s Jamaica flag colors, or black light posters, 2 foot bongs, and stuff like that. And we saw how that doesn’t represent us and our friends and the people we know.

Me: That tacky 20-yearMe: So, first off, let me old dorm room dude ston-

say congratulations on the er culture. show. I really have been enjoying it immensely. Katja: Exactly.

Ben/Katja: Thank you Me: So let me ask you a bit very much/Glad you like about your process since it. you are both involved in 24

writing and directing the episodes…. tell me about your creative process and how it may have changed now that you guys have funding from Vimeo.

Ben: In the past… epi-

sodes came out of a need to express an emotion. You know, no one ordered episodes from us at first. So we were just making them on our own. We would feel an emotion, and notice that others might have been feeling this emotion. Or we would discuss this kind of feeling, or character traits, at little gatherings of friends... and they would identify with it. So we took these feelings that we presumed had a certain amount of relate-ability, and then tried to fit them into a character who could enact the results of having that feeling.

“A lot of our ideas came from available resources... those limitations... defined those first 13 episodes...working against obstacles“ For example, the one episode “Rachel”, [about a cross-dressing house-husband], was mostly about procrastination and authenticity… there were reflections of what we were feeling at that time where we were working on a script [for another show] because we had a deal somewhere, and we were trying to write a script about a show that tries to be authentic, and we were having trouble finding our voice in that. Also early in our relationship, Katja was working [as a casting director] at 30 Rock and going to work everyday while I was still trying to figure out where my next step was... creatively, career-wise.

It kind of just matched those sensations together, mixed with this kind of umm… ---neither of us are cross-dresses, like I’ll wear a comfortable moo-moo or something, (chuckles) but we’re not out shopping for man-dresses for me or anything like that-- but Rachel Comey reached out to us and said “Let me know if we can ever work together” and Dan Stevens kinda did the same thing. So the episode became a collection of whatever offers or help that we had at the time that we took people up on, mixed with whatever emotions we had at the time.

Katja: I’m glad he gave

that example because that’s a perfect encapsulation of how a lot of our episodes were put together. I think in the very beginning it was even, to a lesser extent… it would just be like “oh we know this actor who’s our friend… or just someone we know we think is really funny or talented… or our friend just told us this hilarious story that has a really great moment in it that would be great to portray, or dramatize…” and then the episode would go from there sometimes. Or a friend would say, we have this apartment and we would say, “Now what kind of character would live in this apartment? Let’s write about that...” So really, a lot of our ideas came from available resources. And there were a lot of limitations because of that. And I think what defined those first 13 episodes was us working against obstacles and just working with whatever available resources we had. How has it changed things now that we have funding, …? I mean, it hasn’t changed things

IMAGE: Portrait Photograph by Matt Doyle


very much. It’s changed things in the way we can now offer our cast and crew compensation for their time, which we weren’t previously able to do, so that was nice. And actually, while… it definitely upped the production value of the show, I think there are times when Ben and I kinda miss those old days when we’re just in one person’s apartment for a whole day and it was contained, small, and intimate... and there was something magical about that I think.

“I think loneliness is my biggest fear, as something I want to avoid... it’s the thing that drives us to do things most because we’re all afraid of just being alone.”

cause we took a little bit of money which made it seem to outsiders like we got more than we actually did get. When in reality it’s just enough to keep doing what we’re doing and now people get paid being there.

Me: Well at least if not much money, you do get the honor of Vimeo’s first picked up series, so you must be doing something right. Now I wanted to ask you about something I noticed, a theme that seems to run through many, if not most of your episodes. There seems to be this sense of inherent loneliness or isolation. At the same time a need to bond and find like-minded, like-hearted people is shown as important, too. Does that reflect a New York City condition, or a human condition…? Is it intentional?

house. He’s definitely a shut in. He’s the one that won’t outright leave his apartment. But I think most of our characters feel like him somehow.

Katja: I think that the

loneliness is more interesting to portray in New York just because it seems like a great irony that in such a super crowded city you could feel so lonely around so many people. I think for New Yorkers it appeals to them because of the settings and references and such, but truth be told we hear from people all over the world, all over the U.S. in very rural areas who say the show speaks to them. And I don’t imagine they’re getting all the regional references in the show, so I can only drawn the conclusion that it must resonate for them too, that loneliness... I think it’s the Human condition.

Ben: I think with the offer Ben: Growing up in sub- Ben: Also, back to what of money, we were excited to kind of use High Maintenance as a learning experience for us in terms of film making, and we took a lot of these stories in the new episodes outside. And while that was fun and cool, I think we will return to the apartment in future episodes, because there’s so much visual information as to what kind of person you’re dealing with. That was one of the original appeals of the first episodes because there was so much said without dialogue. It was all in the authentic portrayal of a New York apartment. We’re going to start going back to casting the apartment as well… It’s important to note that the money that Vimeo gave us is not commensurate to a professional film-making budget... at all. We kind of screwed ourselves a little bit, be-


urbs, I felt lonely all the we were saying about contime. straints guiding your creative vision... Showing a Katja: I’d did too... character being lonely is cheaper than a list of charBen: And then being in acters having a fun time the city, out of college, and together. So there’s also everybody finally has jobs the cost limitations that to go to -I had kept an art- lead us to that theme. ists schedule most of my time living in the city- and “What’s fun about I felt lonely all the time. I doing it in New think loneliness is my big- York is there’s this gest fear, as something I fast pace built in want to avoid as anything to everything... if -I think Katja feels simi- we did it in LA, it larly- and of course we try to tackle that because it’s would change the the thing that drives us tone of the show.” to do things most because we’re all afraid of just be- Me: Do you have a special favorite episode you’ve ing alone. Additionally, this world made so far? One that that we live in technolog- might be nearest and dearically… is isolating. We est to your heart. don’t cover technology that much outright in our Ben: Yah, the three that episodes, but I think that we did before this new the condition of humanity batch we did: “Qasim”, is… well like in the episode “Metilda”, and “Rachel”. [Helen] where the guy gets We were working on a everything delivered to his script to make this a ca-

ble show at the time, and those episodes really felt like they were just coming out of us because something needed to come out of us. Because we weren’t doing anything creatively at the time because we felt we weren’t allowed to, and then we got the go ahead. And those kinda came out of us, it kind of felt like from a third party that was outside of our bodies. I don’t know. They came about really quickly in kind of a fevered dream atmosphere, and we were really happy to give life to those stories. And then we got to that 11 to 15 minute mark, longer than any of our previous episodes, and found ourselves in a real sweet spot for story telling. There’s enough time to where we felt we could lead the audience one way far enough and then jump the other direction to the twist part, the exciting part, and that was a really nice thing to discover.

Me: So you talked before in other interviews about having the ability to make these shows from anywhere. You mentioned you were coming out to LA to write. Have you thought about doing an LA episode? Ben: Yah we have thought

about that. A friend of ours runs a delivery service out there and I’ve done one or two tag-alongs with him and seen what that’s like. It’s pretty similar, if I can say so. Although in LA, it’s so... weeded out. Like the culture seems so weed paced and relaxed. If we made a show there it seems like there would lean more towards stoner stereotypes. What’s fun about doing it in New York is there’s this fast pace built in to everything that in LA it would change the tone of the show. Our take might


be more like 6 Feet Under or something like that, in that it felt kind of real and not like a surfer show or industry show. It would feel like a real person show that happened to be in LA.

road… while we do agree we should work together on our next project, I do think we are recognizing the need for us both to have an opportunity, once we feel ready, to exercise our own independent creative visions.

“One of the main benefits of being a Yah we’ve found couple in this... is Katja: that our has come on set we are able from thesuccess joint effort… to communicate in from the collaboration. It short hand.” kinda feels like the sweet

and who are we to Me: Now how is it work- spot, question it?

ing together as a married of the main benecouple? What are the chal- fitsOne of being couple in lenges? What are the ad- this on set… abecause of vantages? how our relationship, how we are… we are Ben: Uh… Well… I can intimate able to communicate in enumerate a couple of short hand. We don’t have both… but I’ll start with to spend a lot of time trythe good stuff. The good ing to explain ourselves, stuff is I really love this because we get each other. person, and she seems to So that’s really nice, that’s love me as well… she says a luxury I think. as much (chuckles). And it’s really wonderful to be Me: Do you guys compartable to share in all of the mentalize your tasks? unprecedented success with her. It’s nice that on Ben: We do play to each set we don’t have to leave other’s strengths... I think another person behind, or that’s one of the wondergo off and have fun with- ful things, about being in out one another. Because a couple, is that there are I’m the kind of person who certain things that males would be super jelly if Kat- are adept at, and there are ja was going out and doing other things that females all these interviews and I are adept at. In our situthink she’d be bummed ation Katja is better with too if it was just me doing the detail orientations and it. So I’d have to say it’s the little things, while I like being flown around tend to think a bit more with your best friend and macro about blocking do all these things togeth- and the camera and the er. edit and how structurally But I’d also have to this thing is going to fit say it’s very difficult to together. And I do think change modes when you the melding of both sensiare working together, and bilities is a big part of the living together, and loving success. together… And yah there are sometimes Katja and Me: Well I don’t want to I can’t stand one another, take up too much more and we have to be together of your time, but did you for the next couple of days have any other thoughts because we have a whole you’d like to communicate schedule filled with inter- we might not have had a views, or go be on set. So chance to touch on? there are some codependent issues that have erupt- Ben: I think that we are ed out of all of this, and I exploring… as our relathink that going down the

tionship with pot grows as we become older people, there is a point we have to ask questions like, “when is enough enough?” I’m curious to see how once pot is more accepted, more garnered as just a fact of life in our society, that whether the use of it will go up. Because right now it’s kind of like an all you can eat buffet mentality, that I think we will point out its tacky gross excessive side in the future, because it’s really trudging weed at this point.

Me: Hopefully things like High Maintenance and The New Smoker will help normalize the current cannabis culture craze, and everyone can just calmly enjoy a good joint like a nice glass of wine. Thank you again for the wonderful chat. Hopefully we can do it again in the future. Until then, best of luck on all your future projects and I look forward to many more episodes of High Maintenance. Ben/Katja: Thanks, it was good talking with you too. We hope you enjoy the next things we have coming up as much as the last.


e say our goodbyes. I hang up the phone, stop my tape recorder and get myself ready to start the rest of my day making the most out of my own limitations. Let me just smoke some inspiration first.

This was an edited version of the conversation, cut down for size, not content. If you would like to read the worthwhile unedited interview, go to to find the fully transcribed interview.

The Good Taste of Medicine

Potency & Flavor

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High Art


appy New Year, it’s 2015! Let’s just think about that for a moment. We are now living in the 21st Century. Not long ago, we imagined it would be filled with Space Odysseys, moon-bases, and personal robots. And though we may not be living in the clouds and zipping to work in our Jetsons style flying cars, we really aren’t too far off a future once dreamed up by the likes of Jules Verne. But I doubt the sci-fi futurists of the past century imagined that cannabis would be rushed into the world’s consciousness as a plant to embrace and no longer feared as an “evil drug”.

By Esjay George of tobacco to get a perspective.


obacco originated from the Americas and quickly spread to Europe around 1595. The water pipe is thought to have come into existence in the 1560s and tobacco is believed to have reached Persia around 1600 according to some. I found many differing versions of dates as to when it arrived. But overall, in the rest of the world, the most common plant smoked at that time was cannabis.


ith this knowledge and the occasional artist titling their work as someone smoking Hashish, I found a small selection of the historical paintings featuring cannabis smoking that I feel gives a wonderful feel of times past. The paintings are all by European artist of the 19th and 20th century and they represent, mostly Central Asian scenes. This area of the world and it’s smoking of Hashish was starting to fascinate the European public during that area. Smoking hashish was a common pastime throughout Central Asia especially since the drinking of fermented beverages was forbidden in most of the wanted to find artists that had recorded this recreational ac- Islamic world. It seems that a high percentage of those depicted tivity within history but looking back through sketches and in paintings smoking during this period may most likely be using oil paintings it is often hard to define if what is being record is cannabis. actually cannabis smoking. Taking away the distinct look of opium pipes we are left with clay pipes, chillums and hookahs as the n the next page are some of the more intriguing examples most common means of smoking in the past. One has to look to I have found: cannabis historical timelines and interlink them with the spread


f we take a look back through history cannabis has never really been consider anything other than a useful plant indigenous to Central and South Asia. Since 8,000+ BCE the cannabis plant went from hemp cloth to food to medicine then into recreational smoking. The story of smoking cannabis is recorded throughout history mostly in written documents and books, though on occasion an artist would record someone enjoying the pleasures of smoking cannabis.



Oil Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme “Une Plaisanterie” 1882



Émile Bernard | 1868 -1941 Émile Bernard was a French Post-Impressionist painter and writer from the 19th Century, as well as friend of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh who is noted to have enjoyed smoking cannabis for inspiration. In 1893 Bernard travelled to Egypt, Spain and Italy. Sometime after this his work starts featuring exotic women of Arabian, Gypsy and Moorish decent. One of these women is portrayed in his 1900 painting titled “Woman Smoking Hashish”. As the title suggests, it depicts a relaxed young lady smoking hashish through what looks to be a traditional water pipe. (Left)

Jean-Léon Gérôme | 1824 -1904

Oil Painting by Émile Bernard “Women Smoking Hashish”

Jean-Léon Gérôme painter and sculptor of 19th Century France had a flare for Orientalism within his oeuvre, which also featured Greek Mythology and historical paintings. Visiting Egypt for the first time in 1856, he seemed to have found a passion for depicting the Arabic lifestyle which sparked the start of Orientalist paintings. His paintings often capture scenes of hookah smoking though one painting I found lends it’s self to one thinking that perhaps the smoker has Hashish in his hookah. The oil painting “Une Plaisanterie” dated 1882 [English meaning “A Joke”] shows a young Muslim man in his living room and blowing a puff of smoke from his Hookah into his Saluki’s [Arab Greyhound] face. (As seen on previous page)

Charles Édouard Delort| 1841 -1895 Charles Édouard Delort was an academic painter who studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris. He painted scenes of life during his time, along with a few fanciful paintings of voluptuous naked European women. In his oil painting titled “A Voluptuous Smoke” one is left feeling that the voluptuous beauty is enjoying cannabis within her hookah while being watched by a small flock of budgerigars. (Right)

Rudolf Ernst| 1854 -1932 Rudolf Ernst (also known as Rodolphe Ernst) was an Austro-French painter, printmaker, and ceramics painter with a talent for exclusively painting in Orientalist motifs from 1885 on wards. Like the painters mentioned previously, he too travelled through Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Istanbul depicting Ottoman and Islamic life in the 19th Century. In his painting titled “Smoking the Hookah” it shows a gentleman enjoying the relaxing smoke of his hookah in his room with a view of the city below. Though one can not be sure if his hookah has tobacco or cannabis, the look of pure relaxation on his face suggests perhaps the latter maybe packed within his blossoming bowl. (Left)

Oil Painting by Rudolf Ernst “Smoking the Hookah” 30 Opposite Page: Oil Painting by Charles Édouard Delort “A Voluptuous Smoke”

IMAGE: by Casey Curry, MODEL: Soren Gray , STRAIN: Jack Herer

how to hang with someone who’s high

By Clark Greene or those of you who are friends, lovers, or married to someone who smokes the good herb, but you yourself aren’t a regular cannabis consumer... hanging with someone who’s high can be a tricky thing to gauge. A freshly high person might seem suddenly very focused on what you’re doing, or be totally distracted and unable to engage ways you’re used to. As with any intoxication, there are certain methods of interacting with someone while high that can benefit both the stoned and the sober alike.


ee, someone who has just smoked cannabis is a newly sensitive, sensitized, creature. Their perceptions and senses have just been elevated 100 fold. This is why things taste so amazing; music is that more absorbing; thoughts reach deeper and wider than ever before. They have also stretched their perceptions, both in the interior and exterior, and have more information coming at them from all sides. Heightened awareness brings heightened sensitivity.


o to aid all parties involved in hanging out high, we have come up with some tips to help everyone get along and have a good, and even enlightening, time.

1. Give them time. Don’t overwhelm them. After someone smokes, it takes a little while for the effects to settle in. And because the effects of cannabis can vary widely, give them a moment or four to see how the high is gonna ride itself out, because they don’t always know. Give them a few minutes but after a half hour or so they should have the effects understood and under control. 2. Don’t take it personally. A high person doesn’t mean to sometimes seem inattentive or rude. But when super baked, a person is more likely to be easily distracted by things. Or shy within their own baked bubble. They tend to be more focused on whatever that distraction maybe. So if they can’t follow what you’re saying or you can’t follow their tangent, just let it ride for a while… You might be surprised and find yourself on a train of thought you’ve never been on before. 3. Don’t stare. It’s impolite to stare at people in general, but someone who’s extra high doesn’t need anymore help in the heightened self awareness department. Might induce a bit of paranoia. 4. Have fun. Being high can be a great time for all. Don’t laugh at them, laugh with them. 5. Don’t burst the bubble. Being in a bubble of high-tend awareness, a high person can be highly focused on something you might not be remotely aware of. And when they are in this mode they can be easily startled. Try to climb into the bubble and not pop it. 6. Talk softly. With heightened senses come heightened hearing. That’s why sometimes stoned people mumble, they think they’re speaking normally, but it’s too soft. Follow suit and speak softly, once you’ve gotten their attention. 7. Movies and Music. Hanging out together watching a fun or chill movie is often a perfect way to relax together but make sure your not watching anything too intense or scary as it might freak them out. For music, try not to play loud, crazy stuff, or crap radio, as it can be too jarring or hectic. (Unless that’s how their high is going, after a hit of a Sativia strain maybe all they want to do is dance.) Something soft and relaxing is always a safe bet.


8. Make easy plans. Generally when one is high they are locked into something fascinating, or a certain mode, and want to stick with it. (e.g. reading, painting, making music, etc.). If you want to try to get them to go do something, try to make it sound as easy and fun as possible. If you do go out to an event and they decide they can’t handle it, try not to get too upset. You were warned. 9. Nature is always good. If you do get them to go out of their high-bubble and on an adventure make sure it’s in nature and not the mall. No one wants to be surrounded by people shopping or overly stressed out people trying to get somewhere fast. 10. Don’t try to make concrete decisions. Abstract thinking is a lot of what smoking pot is all about. If you’re looking for a creative out-of-the-box answer, then a high guy is your man. But don’t ask them to finalize the terms of some contract while they’re baked. It won’t get done.





























am a hardcore drug addict and I smoke weed. Wait. I WAS a hardcore drug addict. At present, I’m simply a man who made some bad choices many years ago and feels my past shouldn’t dictate who I am today. I don’t drink or use hard drugs anymore, but I am a casual weed smoker. In 12-step groups like Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous you are told you are an alcoholic and/or drug addict forever and that you should abstain from all drugs. You are marked for the rest of your life and if you don’t attend meetings regularly, you will probably use again and you’re putting yourself at great risk. Sound extreme? Read on. ’m not going to rip on these 12 step groups because there is actually great merit in these kinds of programs for those struggling with addiction. I just disagree with some of the guidelines and dogma of the “program.” I went regularly for 3 years and still go, off and on. I mean, it’s free therapy, man. These are modern times… everybody’s doing it! Why not do it? Let go of the ego and go get some help, right?! You go and meet people struggling with the same demons and help each other through the intensity of quitting and learn to address and modify your behavior to cope with your issues and become a better person. You also learn to be of service to others, so the program is cyclical in nature. You go to get help, then after some time you continue to go to help others. This is helpful to all and a testament to how important it is for humans to connect and to talk it out to improve the quality of life.


by CHO CHO just feel, for me personally, that there is more than one way to a happy existence after being a hardcore druggy. The path that I have chosen involves the smoking of ganja, which has brought me great joy, and a deeper understanding of who I am as a person. Burning has also brought me closer to nature, enhanced visual and aural experiences, given me greater access to my inner-muse in order to create more interesting art and music, and allowed me to commune with others on the same heightened plane of consciousness. Weed totally enriches my life. It’s not a crutch, it is a gift that has opened the doors of perception to a world filled with laughter, love, and creativity.

ull disclosure: I don’t smoke tons of weed. I partake about once a month. I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to those in the “program” (AA, NA, etc.) it is a big “no no”. Total abstinence is where it’s at in the 12 step programs. While I think my path is something that works well for me, I don’t think it works for everybody that struggles or has struggled with addiction. Total sobriety is usually the best way to go for most addicts. Now marijuana was never my drug of choice. In fact, it used to make me feel super paranoid, anti-social, and seemed to amplify my problems and worries about life. Let me explain. You see, I used to drink and use hard drugs to escape the reality of my life because I wasn’t happy and later in life I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as a result of nearly dying of a gunshot wound in a violent altercation. That is the bottom line.



smoke weed now because I am happy! I am comfortable in my own skin. I have purged those demons of my earlier years and feel beautifully content. I won’t bore you with the details into the deeper psychology of why I became addicted to hard drugs and became an alcoholic, but basically I was a total selfish asshole who nearly ruined my life and definitely fucked up other people’s lives. That’s the thing with hardcore addiction, 9 times out of 10, you end up hurting yourself and others because you’re so blinded by the endless search for the perfect high that you compromise your integrity, lie, and fuck people over to get what you want. I have worked very hard for 10 years to pick up the pieces from the af-

termath of my drug-laden warpath of an existence. I am very thankful to everyone who helped me in my darkest days and never forget the pain and worry I caused others. A transformation of self has occurred through the years and by no means have I figured it all out yet. I am still and will be forever a work in progress! Presently, all is beautiful because I have clarity and peace in my life. I will be forever searching, questioning, helping others struggling with addiction (this is my karmic condition), and remembering to show gratitude and grace as I walk through life. But perhaps I should tell you about my life before, for it makes an interesting tale indeed.


n 2005 I went to rehab because I was hella fucked up on a steady diet of cocaine and alcohol. I had quit heroin 2 years before when I lived in Saigon, Vietnam, which was great, but that just led me to ramp up my consumption of other mind-altering substances, hence my new found love for booger sugar and the booze. Couldn’t give up the feeling of being totally out of it. This is called cross-addiction…where you substitute one drug for another. So I did a 28-day inpatient program in Oakland, CA that felt like a sort of educational summer camp for losers. I had boxed up all these emotions for years and ended up crying a lot when I was there. It felt cathartic of course. I also felt extreme guilt

for being so selfish for so many years, which was actually a good thing. I finally processed the grief I caused others. There were all sorts of people there. MILFS in for wine and pills, totally lost 20-somethings in for an array of designer drugs, older zombie looking dudes in for meth, sad folks with chronic pain addicted to pain killers, emergency room medical workers (who saw some shit) hopped up on pills, and run of the mill alcoholics, etc. All were welcome if you had the proper insurance or like 12,000 bucks. Some people in rehab were total clueless egomaniacs and others were just simply temporarily lost. About half were what they called dual diagnosis,

IMAGE from : Cho Cho



which means they were bi-polar, suffering from depression, or had some other mental illness. Many of them were self-medicating through their excessive drug use, which of course compounded their mental illness symptoms. (An interesting and sad side note: Over 75% were victims of child abuse and or molestation. I know this because one of the drug counsellors asked us to raise our hands in group if we had experienced this. Apparently, this should have been asked individually, and because it brought out too much emotion and pain for many at the inappropriate time, he got fired. Heavy shit.)


learned about the psychological and physiological effects of drug use, had an amazing and inspiring drug counsellor, and as a result, decided to get real serious about choosing a life without drugs and alcohol. So I embarked on an intense 3-year journey into the world of drug recovery. I went to AA, NA, Lifering (like AA without the God factor and a meeting that allows cross talk), a weekly follow up meeting at the rehab for a year, regular Native American sweat lodge rituals, hypnotherapy, visits with a psychologist, guided visualization groups with my hypnotherapist incorporating philosophies from Wiccan/Taoist/Buddhist/ Hindu/Native American origins, a Buddhist 12-step mediation group, met with my Christian father to discuss the 12 steps from a Christian perspective and so on. It sounds like a lot, I know, but I felt very in-


spired to go deep so I could heal and finally be free. I wanted to check out every possible angle to compare and contrast. I became fascinated with the universal experience of sobriety and recovery via the varied lenses of world religions, support groups and Jungian psychology.


hat I found through this myriad of perspectives was that I don’t subscribe to any one point of view. They all have their little gems of advice and life-giving philosophies. The commonality is love and compassion for yourself and others. There is much talk of God(s) though, and while I admire the faith that people have in God with its nobility and focused path, I, myself, am a perpetual agnostic waiting for a tangible and physical sign of what lay beyond. Until then, I believe in Science and the

explainable. I believe in the natural world. I have issues with monotheism: the exclusivity, the hypocrisy, and the righteousness of the devout. (But that is for another discussion.)


ow fast forward to the year 2008. I was hiking with some dear friends on Santa Cruz Island and one of my pals busted out some Mary Jane. My friends knew of my recovery and had always been sensitive to that. Now I am the type of person that doesn’t ever make my problems or issues other peoples problems, so I never tripped on my friends using or partying in front of me. Besides, they didn’t party they way I used to. They are recreational users. Long story short, we had a discussion about the benefits of weed consumption and the beauty of our surroundings and

I decided to burn a little. I was so happy I did. As I walked in nature with my pals I found myself laughing often. Laughing because I was high and my friends were being funny, but also because I felt so alive and totally in tune with the profundity of nature. I felt the enhanced realism and poignancy of friendship, the sea, and being truly comfortable in my own skin. And as the weeks went by afterwards, I didn’t feel guilt for smoking weed, I felt love and compassion in my heart for people, nature, and self. I felt true happiness.


o yes I do consider myself a sober person, but I enjoy the occasional puff of hay once in a while. It is always a life-giving experience and never a life-taking or life hindering experience. I shall continue to keep it natural, baby.

IMAGES Submitted by Cho Cho


Original IMAGE: Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat - Wiki and National Archives and Records Administration

SPIRIT HAWK “You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts. Speak Americans...I will not lie to you; do not lie to me.” Goci (Cochise), Chief of the Chokonen Band, Chiricahua Apaches.

By Wille Mangas


t’s a breed deal. Spot of your birth you roll the cardinal points. Tough when yours is a delivery room. Not so for Grandma Swifty. Soon after Grandpa Slinger’s death, she moved back to the Dragoon Mountains and the old Chokonen Apache Stronghold close to the place of her own first breath of Apacheria air. After a long and painful climb from the canyon below, slowed by Grandma’s body slung over my shoulder and a gimpy leg thanks to a graze from the sniper’s second shot, I sat on an overlook amid the smells and sounds of creatures scurrying through the prickly pear, cactus and sage. A Ferruginous hawk crisscrossed the noon spring sun, buoyed by the updraft deflected off a hundred foot granite rock face. Up ahead, rocky outcrops atop which Apaches once squatted - sentinels over the Stronghold with its canyons, deep draws, creeks and hidden caves, all now empty but still haunted by their spirits and those of Cochise and the Chokonen Band he’d led. I breathed deeply, holding down the sweet sage and hint of juniper oil drifting from the canyons, and was sure I could hear the scuff of shoe-less horses and rawhide moccasins on the rocky trails disappearing deeper

into the Stronghold, and Cochise’s voice in the wind. “When I was young I walked all over this country, east and west, and saw no other people than the Apaches. After many summers I walked again and found another race of people had come to take it. How is it?” I was in a place I’d never known, which existed only in legends, books, the bones and spirits of those who lived and died within these mountains, and of course the multiple cooked up stories by breed wannabes. How is it? Now a wasteland with hikers and tourists parading around parts of the Stronghold - the very race he’d fought to keep out - trampling over ground infused with the blood of the many who defended it. Spotting the valleys and flats east, west, north and south of the Dragoons, gift shops oozing surround-sound-new-agenative-woo-woo-chants, peddling Apache figurines, Cochise, Geronimo, Vittorio and Mangas Coloradas dolls, their faces also slapped on towels, dish rags, placemats, T-shirts, fringed suede jackets and shit paintings, and, like Babe Rainbow on a bad air quality day, giant plastic Cochise replicas floating above motels, hack-job spas, fast-food joints, Casinos, and liquor stores. How is it? 51


Cochise was an Apache legend not a fucking commercial opportunity. How is it? Buried in the Stronghold. Peace at last. Beaten the bastards. On his terms. On his land. Hidden. That’s how it is. A couple of weeks before she was cut down by a sniper’s 168 grain boat tail 308 from eight hundred yards, Grandma led me to her bedroom and the blanket pinned to the wall; it’s secrets revealed as she traced the pattern of the weave. It was a map to the burial site just below the overlook where I now sat, her body next to me bound in the same blanket. In back of the ledge about ten feet below, a walled up wolf’s lair held the remains of three corpses - the wolf Coated Mother, Cochise and his son No Life Without Blood - and a silver necklace once strung with dried nipples. With a sharp kree-e-ah the hawk swooped to just below the overlook, hovering in front of the burial site, an eerie whisper from its almost five-foot wingspan flapping just fast enough to keep it aloft. It drifted above the lip of the overlook, stalled, gave me the big-eye and a wink, then allowed itself to be sent soaring by another updraft. Through the same wind I could hear Grandma Swifty telling the story 52

of her father; a story she had repeated many times throughout my childhood. * * * * irst called Wolf Child, wild seed of Cochise, Chief of the Chokonen Band of the Chiricahua Apaches, and future father of me, his was a savage birth. Twelve years later, he sat on an overlook at the very spot his pregnant mother had been scalped and gutted from throat to belly, nipples cut from her breasts and strung on a silver necklace. The mercenary had reached in, wrenched the fetus from her oozing split belly, raising it to the hot Arizona sun. The struggling infant gasped for its first breaths of Apacheria high mountain desert air and slipped from the bounty hunter’s bloody hands. Dragging the placenta from the plundered womb by the still attached umbilical cord, the newborn rolled off the overlook into a bush on a ledge ten feet below. Angry at the loss of a second scalp, the mercenary kicked the woman’s still warm corpse, climbed onto his horse, and rode south towards Mexico and another payday. As he had done so often over the last five years, the young Apache looked down at the ledge just as the old Mexican gray wolf, crippled by a long life hard lived, limped from her lair and gazed up at


him through an opaque film that covered her eyes. Though nearly blind, she greeted him with that familiar howl. The day of his birth, she had risen from her two suckling cubs, sniffed out the crying and kicking infant in the bush, carefully pulled him to the open ledge in front of her lair, and licked the blood and mucus from his tiny body. Once cleaned, she bit through the umbilical cord, nosed the infant to the back of the nook nestling him between her own two newborns, then returned to the ledge and ate the placenta. She suckled all three until, on the fifth day, an Apache hunting party discovered the picked over and rotting corpse of the woman on the overlook above, and heard the cooing infant from the nook below. After wrapping the body in a blanket, the band kept vigil through the rest of the day and night, chanting softly, slowly gaining the wolf’s trust and confidence, for they came in peace to recover one of their own. Late the following day, the wolf allowed one of the men into her lair to retrieve the infant. As he was carried away the child cried out for the only mother he’d ever known, and the wolf howled at the loss of her adopted son until the band finally disappeared deep

into the Dragoon Mountains. He was the bastard son of Cochise, the greatest of all Apache Leaders, but he carried the spirit of the wolf who had nurtured him through the first five days of his life. Over the years he’d climbed down to the ledge and sat next to the wolf he called Coated Mother. While picking pieces of cliff brittlebush from the old gray wolf’s coat and chanting spirit songs, he’d watched a hawk buzz the surrounding cliffs, never fully understanding what appeared to tie the three of them inexorably together. Though never in pursuit of animals or birds, small or otherwise, his father, Cochise, taught him well the uses of the lance, for there was none his equal. His father drove him relentlessly. Over and over his son hurled the weapon at fallen oaks, speared tall cactus at a full run, and stuck large balls made from the wrapped discarded strips of cattle hide while hanging from the neck of a horse charging at full gallop. But to this bastard son, the moments he treasured most and would carry with the greatest of pride in his heart, were those hours of parries and thrusts, sticks and feints - the simulated hand-to-hand lance combat with Cochise, the most feared, most accomplished fighter of all the Apache tribes.


The passing of the lance to the boy had been a simple and quiet moment. As the young Apache sat on a boulder overlooking the camp, Cochise brought the weapon, laying it before him with the shaft pointing south. He stared at the boy with that blackstone look feared by so many. Their eyes held the moment - the moment Cochise saw his son was now a man, and Wolf Child knew his life had changed forever. On a raid into Sonora a month earlier his half-brother, Taza, captured a Mexican Army Captain, pegging him to an old oak tree by wild boar’s teeth pierced through his armpits. Broken by pain and weakened from the loss of blood and an hour of screaming, the Captain

told of a certain mercenary living in the back of a small canyon in Sonora, who had wandered through the frontier presidios for years collecting bounty for Apache scalps and flaunting a necklace made from the dried nipples of Apache women. Beginning at the place of his birth, armed only with the lance from his father and knowledge of the mercenary’s whereabouts from his half-brother, this was the day the young Apache began his hunt for the man who had mutilated and murdered his mother. Starting east, the boy lay on the ground and rolled clockwise pausing at the four cardinal points, a ritual he had repeated at each visit to the place of his birth.

He returned to the edge of the overlook and looked out over the canyon. Swallows zigzagged through the cottonwoods below. A black-chinned hummingbird appeared from an elephant tree, hovered for a moment in front of the young Apache, shimmered, tracked backwards, before darting to the yellow pollen filled bloom of a desert pincushion clinging to the rocky cliff. Two mature gray wolves appeared atop one of the peaks across the canyon and howled. And the hawk hovering above him let out a piercing screech that resounded throughout the canyon then flew south. He took several deep breaths, feathered his fingers across the skyline in

a farewell to the old gray wolf and the other creatures of the bluff, picked up the lance, turned and trotted south to Sonora. The mercenary’s small adobe hut was tucked under an overhang at the base of a granite cliff. Close by, fresh water flowed from a crack in the face of the wall into a wooden trough contained within a small, crudely made, corral. Through a day and into the night the young Apache sat nestled in the rocks overlooking the hideout. Deliberately keeping his movements slow and easy, not wanting to disturb the stillness of the spot he’d chosen to hide in wait, he lifted his head toward the hawk now perched on a rocky outcrop. (Continued on page 78.)

Kiyote of Big Sur “clothing and accessories for the soft animal of your body”



Bob Dylan Sleeps on my Floor can * nois * seur ( kan’ us sur’ ), n. one competent to render critical judgment on the qualities and merits of Cannabis. By Frank Lauria


was honorably (if grudgingly) discharged from the U.S. Army one day late in October 1960.


fter spending the requisite two weeks with my parents I packed up and headed for Boston, where my old pal Ralph Pine had a pad. He was attending Emerson College and the place was jumping with young actresses looking for drama.


he people on the scene were mildly impressed by my New York poet creds but the romantic heroes of the moment were now Folk Singers. Everything had changed while I was busy saving America. Boston was quite a weird scene. The intersection of Emerson, Boston University, Harvard, Radcliffe, Brandeis, the Museum School of Art, Boston Latin, Beacon Hill Brahmins, Roxbury brothers and Mission Hill bangers made for a manic mix. Add the LSD, Peyote, Mescaline and Me-


thedrine seeping into the soup and things began to IMAGE: of Frank Lauria from bubble. At the time speed was more readily available student at Emerson who strange and the insommight have been a cowboy niac. At three A.M. one than marijuana. star (another friend David might find a trio of proPotter actually did become fessional wrestlers, Billy fter a couple of a TV cowboy) and myself, Barnum the clown, Liweeks of crashing at Ralph’s I landed a job the poet. It was a glorious onel Phelps the Harvard period. pundit, snarling Bobby at Filene’s department Neuwirth (later named store and found a studio the superstar’s superstar nlike today where on Charles Street that College grads seek a by Esquire) the poet Dale had the feel of a Parisian good, secure job, students Landers, Paul Shapiro garret. Most every night then wanted to go to Paris the painter, Rick Lloyd, a people would gather at or Mexico or India. They bicoastel ex-carney turned various pads, drinking sought to find themselves, Pied Piper to well-born wine and singing folk rebels, Jim Strahlee a local songs. I was laid off after and you know what? actor who introduced me Manyof them did. And the Christmas season and a big part of this seeking to BU student Faye Dunapplied for unemployaway, Dino Valente, later ment. My reward for two was sex, drugs and rock of Quicksilver Messenger years Army time. I moved and roll. Service, Jim Kweskin and into a large apartment kay then, long story David Simon who formed on Symphony Road with short, some months the Jug Band, Dave Van new friends Jerry Cole and Don West. From the later our Symphony Road Ronk, Robert Gilman, very first night we moved apartment was gutted by Sonny Daly...and a host fire. I was left with the of others, including the in, it became party cenclothes on my back and a painter Arthur Yanoff tral. leather pig. who had a spare room I was able to rent. s I recall the reow behind Symcords we played t was an interesting phony Road was a went from Ray Charles summer. Everyone was place we called Coffee to Joan Baez. Don West talking about the LSD was a good-looking black Corner, namely a Bick’s experiments conducted All Night Cafeteria that dude who played guitar. by Leary and Alpert (later Jerry Cole was an acting was headquarters to the







Baba Ram Dass) at Harvard. I took my first trip on mescaline supplied by a Brandeis student. Days were spent on the banks of the Charles River hanging, singing chilling.


nyway, another night a lady I met invited me to come along on a ride to the beach. In the car was Dylan, another cat, and two other girls. The cat was a folk buff as were the ladies and they ne night in Harvard all worshipped this guy square I saw a local Dylan who I had never guitar player, Perry Leder- heard of before. I did know one thing. There man, sitting on a curb with another picker, both was a heavy aura around him. It was real quiet of them playing Freight in the car as if no one Train as fast as they could, trying to outdo wanted to say something square. And in Dylan’s each other. world everybody was square. he picker was a guy called Bob Dylan. e partied on the beach, Dylan





to Provincetown with a Radcliffe hottie called Sunni Finklestein who majored in Sanskrit and drove a Ford with the first retractable metal top (the name escapes me). We hooked up with actor Jim Strahlee at the Provincetown Playhouse where n the morning Arthur I crashed. The weekend threw a hissy fit at was fraught with high finding a stranger in his drama and when I restudio (which at the time turned to Boston my fire featured a slab of rotting insurance settlement meat, Arthur being in his check was waiting for me. Soutine period). Dylan t was time for my next left. phase. hortly thereafter I drew my last unemSuggested Listening: ployment check and went

played some standard folk songs, nothing brilliant. Afterwards he said he didn’t know where he was staying that night. I invited him to sleep on the mattress in Arthur’s painting studio. Which he did.




What I Say by Ray Charles




hef Tiff’s Recipes

By Chef Tiffany Friedman

Personal Chef Tiffany Friedman shares with us a few of her favorite Winter recipes to give us all a delicious way to start out the new year.

Pork and Ricotta Meatballs with Piccolo Pepper Sauce



• • • • • •

1 1/2 pounds ground pork 2/3 cup ricotta cheese (5 ounces) 1/4 cup basil pesto 1/4 cup grated aged Gouda Kosher salt Freshly ground pepper



The pork, ricotta, pesto, Gouda and 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Mix well. Shape into 24 meatballs, using about 3 rounded tablespoons of the mixture for each. Transfer the meatballs to an oiled medium roasting pan. Roast the meatballs in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until firm and just beginning to brown. Using a spatula, loosen the meatballs from the


IMAGES: Provided by Chef Tiffany Friedman

bottom of the pan. Turn the meatballs once or twice during cooking.

Piccolo Pepper Sauce



• 1 cup roasted piccolo peppers (from water-packed jar) • 2 tablespoon olive oil • Salt and freshly ground black pepper • 1/2 teaspoon Pimentón smoked paprika

Directions In a blender, combine the red peppers, paprika oil and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Drizzle sauce over meatballs and Serve.


Frangi Tart


he best pear varieties to use for baking are Anjou and Bartlett because their texture remains firm and smooth. Anjou pears are almost egg shaped, with green skin that often has a yellow tinge when ripe. Bartlett pears, also known as Williams’ pears, have thin skins that ripen from dark green to light green and then to yellow. When choosing pears for baking, select ones that are firm but not rock-hard, have a good fragrance, and are smooth and unblemished with their stems still attached. Autumn is the best season for these pears, but they are available almost all year long.


ngredients .

• 1 rolled-out round of basic tart dough (see pg 72) • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter • 1 1/2 cups raw unblanched whole almonds, freshly ground • 2/3 cup sugar • 2 eggs, lightly beaten • 1/2 tsp. Almond extract • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract • 1/4 tsp. Salt • 2 Anjou or Barlett pears, peeled, quartered and cored • 1/3 cup fig jam



Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw shortgrain rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Leave the oven temperature at 375°F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to the touch. In a bowl, stir together the ground almonds, sugar, eggs, almond and vanilla extracts, , salt, and melted butter. Spread evenly in the tart shell. Slice each pear quarter crosswise into slices 1/8 inch thick, keeping each one together. Arrange each quarter core side down and stem end toward the center in the pan. Use your hand to flatten and fan each quarter slightly and press the slices into the filling.

Fold the dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan. Press the dough into the sides to extend it Bake the tart until the filling is firm to the touch slightly above the rim to offset any shrinkage during in the center and slightly golden, 40 to 45 minutes. baking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the jam until it liquefies. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the 57


top of the tart with a thin coating of jam. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, let the reparation sides fall away, then slide the tart onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes one 9 1/2-inch tart; serves 8. Blend together flour, sugar, salt, butter, and shortening with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with 3 tablespoons ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in food processor) until incorporated.


Whipped Crème Fraiche


ngredients .

Squeeze a small handful: If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until just incorporated, then test again. (If you overwork mixture, pastry will be tough.)

• 2 cups crème fraiche • 1/2 cup powdered sugar • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion.


Gather dough together with scraper and press into a ball, then flatten into a 6-inch disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.


Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin into a 13until stiff peaks form. inch round on a lightly floured surface and fit into tart pan. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang inward and press against side of pan to reinforce edge. Lightly prick bottom and sides with a fork.

Basic Tart Dough


Chill 30 minutes.

ngredients . Makes 1 (11-inch) tart shell

• 1 3/4 cups all- purpose flour • 1 tablespoon sugar • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2inch cubes • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water Special equipment: a pastry or bench scraper; an 11-by 1-inch fluted round tart pan with removable button; pie weights or raw rice.


Chef Tiffany Friedman Chef Tiffany is a lifelong student of the culinary arts. Her goal is to always continue to grow and direct her passion toward bringing people joy. She describes her culinary talent as, “a gift I hope to share with your taste-buds.”


Pinapple Express A Moving Strain Review by Dyson Bronti


ometimes art imitates life, or life imitates art. In the case of the sweet pine-musky hybrid strain Pineapple Express, it was Seth Rogen and James Franco’s stoner-ploitation action flick of the same name that inspired this fine new flower to become one of the more sought after name brands out on the marijuana market today, even though it’s only really been around for a few years.


ineapple Express was bred by G13 labs and is the child of Trainwreck and Hawaii. This sativa-dominant hybrid is known to give an energetic beginning buzz, finishing later with a nice body high. It’s THC content can be up to 17% with CBD upwards of 0.17%.

n certain ways the high is a lot like the feel of the Rogen/Franco movie: an action adventure that gives you a few hours of mindless blood pumping giggling fun, then leaves you a little bit confused at the end and not too bummed that you went for a ride, even if you’re not too sure where you went.

n other ways, it’s a lot like the original namesake of both the movie and strain. The forenamed meteorological phenomenon is basically a “skyriver” of water vapor that flows across the mid-Pacific tropical regions to the North American coastlines. This might describe Pineapple Express best: it flows as smooth as a river and floats as high as the clouds.

(Go to to find this strain nearest you. State laws apply)



NBA 2K7 Video Game Tour, 2007. Chali2na. A.G. from DigITimt’sgin’the In the Crates. Casual from Hieroglyphics. Gavin from Dredg. Carter from Kasabian. Kelly from 20 Minute Loop and future

singer in renowned a cappella choir Kitka. Gabriel from The Love X Nowhere and owner of one of Marin’s best funky restaurants, Joe’s Taco Lounge. All crammed into the back of a tour bus. So much smoke you can’t even see your hands in front of your face, much less breathe, much less exist without becoming at least mildly stoned. Gigantic 8 inch blunts going around in a seemingly endless circle. Bootlegged Korean cop flicks on the television. Rappers with notepads in their hands for phrases and thoughts that are said, uttered, mumbled, laughed, screamed. Always capturing, always writing. Anything can become a hook or a line or a retort or a chorus.


ncient, 70’s era tour bus screaming down the freeway hitting all the major west coast stops. Portland, Seattle, Boise, all the way to Aspen. Down through Texas and across back to Los Angeles. Bathroom out of order. No time for anything but the fastest possible food. Miserable vegetarians and happy, broke musicians who can subsist on vodka, twizzlers and memories. Dan The Automator prowling in the front, not a smoker, but a joker. On the phone a lot, dealing and wheeling and preferring the occasional hard drink to anything inhaled. Laptop open with Franz Ferdinand tracks in the mix, shuffling kick drums and looking for new genres.


ack in the lounge, crowded to capacity, the party literally rages all day and all night, stopping only for sound checks and gigs and the occasional squinty-eyed trek into the real world. People who live normal lives seeming so out of place after such blissfully caged freedom. Domino, tour manager and leader of the effervescent Hieroglyphics Consortium. Stays clean, counts out twenty-dollar bills, on the phone with venues and radio stations. Keeps everything together in a calm, mystical Buddha fashion. Always secretly excited to be on the road with his friends, playing his music. His life has been hip-hop, and it never stops for him. Always in his head, always in his body.


hat makes the marijuana such the perfect accompaniment for this kind of lifestyle? It goes so far beyond the stereotypical juvenile stoner paradigm. It is mentally and physically freeing. It is a relaxant and a stimulant at the same time. It passes time, and time passes through it. By sharing with friends and fellow artists, by experiencing the high together, the tribe comes closer. The laughter and

Marijuana . Moods . Mystics 62

By Jim Greer


the love are intensified and become a mutual and bonding experience. The outer world falls away into meaninglessness and the circle becomes the world. The blunt goes around and white, black, male and female are all one. Creativity and ambition always enter the picture. It only takes but one. A song idea, a poem, a movie script. Fists are bumped. People write notes and suggest more ideas. The idea becomes reality, roles are assigned. Phone calls are made even to agents, managers. New bands are formed; side projects are germinated and grow based on one idea, one song, one thought. Much of it never comes back around. But the minds are stimulated and the will is there. This particular tour was only about three weeks. A totally new assortment of people. A band, MC’s, a producer. Scant rehearsal days and strange routing. Everyone is patient from the get go, and the shows are held sacred. Always fans at every show, always wanting to hear about the music life, feel the mystery of the back lounge. Everything takes time. 12 people sleeping in bunks and a driver who may or may not be a convicted felon, holding everyone’s life in his hands, literally, on the mountain passes. Someone has a disc of beats, as the rappers call them. Not just drums, but

music and vocals and guitars and basses. Full tracks with gigantic, hard-hitting kick drums and sampled production using Akai MPCs. The disc goes in the back, circles around. The blunt circles around. Resident female Kelly starts to sing, her bewitching, nurturing, soul-fire voice quieting the room. What are we saying, says the collective mind? Who are we singing to? Everyone’s got issues. Chali2na misses his son. Casual keeps flipping from home to home. Domino’s got an empire to run and a 3/4 sold out show in 24 hours to fill up. Everyone has a problem, all the problems have names. One track in particular stands out. It’s clear to everyone. Someone starts hitting repeat. Gavin from Dredg is singing quietly, meditating on the moment, like he does on stage, doing a rotational gyro arm-dance unique only to him. The MC’s are riffing but they can’t keep up with the singers who really just need a chorus. The subject of unwanted pregnancy comes up somewhere in the mix, and Kelly runs with it, sings to her, to him, the children that end up nowhere. They don’t have a name if you give them up, they’re gone. Over the course of the tour I was the engineer in the hotel room after being the bass player on stage. This means a hard black Pelican road case with a

laptop, microphone, pop screen, interface, and a small keyboard. Nightly I set it up and work out a few things here and there. I bring in the beat and start to collect the parts. First the singers... Kelly and Gavin, singing quietly after hours on the old Rode NT1 microphone. Working out the choruses. Vamping and re singing and perfecting. The next day on the bus everyone hears the new improved track. Kelly’s voice silences them. Emotive and rich, melted butter poured on spun silk. Blunts are lit, and MC’s start to relate the way that only they can. Notepads come out and ideas are flowing. A.G. is pensive - he holds back, listening. Later that night Gavin quietly backs up Kelly, with quiet responses and phrases that fill in the gaps. Poetry and rapping are not far from each other. Showing without telling, storytelling, imagery, evocation, beauty and pain. The rhythm and the voice add more depth to the art form, the personality and the musicality taking everything to a new level. It can be strictly fun, or it can be strictly art, this setting of words to rhythm. It’s been done for thousands of years, probably pre-dating any musical instruments. It’s chanting from a far more diverse and colorful vocabulary with every year that goes by. The great epic poems

that our civilizations are founded on were long form rap battles, metered and funny and vernacular. It will never end. Chali2na, the de facto leader of the MC’s, writes his parts. He tracks them one night in the hotel room, spinning blunts and overloading the mic with his dark, singular baritone. It may have been the first time I recorded a truly famous voice, and I was honored to be there, him in his pajamas, me keeping a light touch on the input gain. Casual from Hieroglyphics goes the next night. A quick study is Casual, effortlessly dropping catchy phrases that stick in your head and always seeming to be smiling when you hear him. A big guy with a soft voice that resonates hard tones. Tim Carter comes by when Casual is there. The drummer on the tour, getting countless comparisons to Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, and other greats. A drummer I’ve performed with since 1994 and used on dozens of sessions. Fast-forward 7 years and you can see him performing as the lead guitarist for the uber-huge rock band Kasabian - he’s that talented. Also a very intuitive and graceful pedal steel guitar player -- so one night we found a beer bottle, borrowed the electric guitar from Gabriel, and Tim went to work. A little tricky recording 63


a pedal steel direct at 3 A.M. in Aspen Colorado, but not such a bad thing to have to dial in. We make it work. Tim’s playing adds that subtle layer of eerinessand vibe that only the best pedal steel can. It takes a few days to pin down A.G., also known as Andre The Giant. An MC from the Bronx, from the legendary Diggin’ In The Crates, whose flow inspired Jay-Z, Tupac and countless other current superstars. Long overdue for more commercial success and not nearly well known enough. Has felt real pain and struggle in his life, and waits until the last day of the tour to contribute to the song. He comes and delivers it quickly. Talks of his father, his life, his struggle. A man who has seen

friends die, careers fade, women come and go. He drops a short burst of truth in one take - 30 seconds or so, and that’s the last time any of us ever heard from him. The final day of the tour we have one last tribal gathering in the back lounge. The blunts are going around, and when everybody is ready, the song is played. And then again, and again and again. The song brings everyone together, created over the course of the tour, never heard all at once until the end. Everyone has things to look forward to but is a bit wistful that the journey is ending. I was as blazed as everyone else, yet every memory of the tour is crystallized for me in the song. When we encounter each other, it’s the song

we talk about. I don’t really remember the shows very well, the set lists, or a single party. But I do remember the back of the lounge, smoke as thick as vines, the tingles up my spine when Kelly started to sing and bring us together. But nothing keeps the memory alive like hearIMAGE by Jim Geer ing the song. Created in a vacuum, and then a video friend puts together a grainy video, and up to YouTube it goes, where it lives, more or less unnoticed, until now. “It’s Got A Name:” Featuring: Chali2na, A.G., Casual, Tim Carter, Kelly Atkins, Gavin Hayes, Jim Greer: The Band, Live in Los Angeles: youtube:

Jim Greer is a Bay Area producer, engineer, and songwriter who has worked with dozens of artists including: The Soft White Sixties, Galactic, Foster The People, Butterscotch, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Rondo Brothers, MC Lars, Souls of Mischief, Loquat, Eric McFadden, Color Me Black, Diego’s Umbrella, and many more.

Rondo Brothers ...rare grooves... ...chill beats... ...good music...

Rondo Brothers Discography

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Find us on... twitter, iTunes, spotify, rhapsody, fb


High- Fi Sometimes it’s good to be bad... music. by A Medieval Woman


ften times, people ask me to show them something cool that they have never heard of before. And the problem is that most of the people already heard everything good there is. Granted, one can easily argue against this statement. Yet I have found myself showing my friends and colleagues really bad but funny music. People hold something against badly made songs. But working in the music industry, I have realized that popular music as a genre is not there to educate or pronounce complex emotions.


t is there for people to relate to. It is there to get the point across. And so long it does that, it doesn’t matter how well the guitars are recorded. What matters is that it can touch us for at least a second. It can make us laugh or roll our eyes. Some music is good at being bad. And if all these arguments still haven’t convinced you enough, my dear reader, just remember this: nothing brings two people closer than the hatred of a third person.


o let a song be the poor bastard, and feel the commonality in your disregard. Or maybe the poor bastard would be me... If so, just remember. The medieval woman is hot, and you’d want to f*ck her if you saw her.



Pretty Girl Rock - Keri Hilson


or all ladies out there. Sometimes at work you might find yourself surrounded by older people or by males. Sometimes you might feel succumbing to the weight of their experience and manliness. At least I do feel this way from time to time. And during those moments, I don’t want no Pink Floyd or the Grateful Dead. All I need is to be reminded of how amazing and youthful I am. Keri Hilson is a great pick me up when I’m in doubt, and my pride bottoms out. Because at the end, those haters might be smart. But we are pretty, we are girls, and we rock. And we will rock the hell out of our lives and jobs, just give us time.

Crown on the Ground - Sleigh Bells


his composition which is in fact a soundtrack to the Bling Ring is so loud and distorted that it sounds like your ear headphone just continuously farted and died. Yet their song was named the fifty-seventh best track of 2009 by Pitchfork Media, and it is a damn good and catchy composition. The truth is the crankiness of the sound just goes to shows how little the music consumer actually cares about the quality of the sound. And it is a great lesson for aspiring musicians to remember. It is nice to have a thousand dollar Neumann microphones, it is nice to get recorded in a grand a spacious wooden room, it is nice to try out and combine five different guitar amps to get the tone of a lifetime. But it is a song that matters and that would make or break it after all. The recording process is just a means to an end, but not an end in itself.

I Wanna F#€K a Dog in the @ss - Blink 182


e searched for a pirate. He couldn’t find a pirate and found a dog. He searched for your mother. He couldn’t find your mother and found a dog. It definitely gets the point across. Have you tried to consume a pot cookie and then listen to Beethoven’s symphony 5? If you did, then you would find that it is impossible to follow under the intoxicated state of yours. One phrase turns to a different one in a matter of seconds. Here you were plunging into the softness of the strings, but the clarinet stroke your numbed senses out of nowhere. A noble quality of being interchanging becomes relentless. This is why I can promise you this. You can eat 10 fairy cookies and (considering you don’t die) you can still get what “I Wanna Fuck a Dog in the Ass” is all about. It is about looking into the abyss of human race.



Christmas in Hollywood - Hollywood Undead


resenting your favorite treat next year sometime before Christmas. Consider this my gift to your sanity. Let’s imagine that you decided to get a present for your loved ones and headed to Macy’s. Assume that you spend about an hour walking around the shelves stuffed with unnecessary luxuries and listening to the deluxe Christmas Album by the great Elvis Presley. It is all lovely, and you spent a fortune and is not getting into your car for a long commute home after work. And the entire commute home, you’re stuck in traffic listening to your favorite rock stations. Except this time a year, all of the stations decide to play more of Elvis Presley and, let’s say, Mariah Carey. You almost get home, but then remember you are all out of milk. So you drive by your neighborhood grocery store only to be welcomed by more of a high-pitched voice of Mariah Carey. The point is, Christmas in Hollywood would give you a nice break from this never ending caroling while keeping your Holiday’s spirit alive. And yes, it might be dark humored and even deadly. Hollywood Undead did in fact do to Santa Claus the same thing Blink 182 did to the dog. But it is punk and rage and fun. And we need some fun on December 25th.

Tequila con limon - Los Juniors


ime for a drinking game. The rules are simple: every single time you hear “Tequila con limon,” you take a shot of tequila with lemon. Every single time you hear the word “Ron,” you subsequently take a shot of rum. The last man standing by the end of this 2:40 minute masterpiece gets a whole bottle of each drink. In contrast, the sober souls can use the song as an excellent way to brush up on their Spanish. Either way, I don’t actually think this song is bad. In fact, I really do enjoy the little and wild guitar solo during the bridge.

The Kingston Trio - Tijuana Jail


wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t mention this tune your grandmother fell in love with. It comes with a story as everything else in this article. My dear sister works as an accountant in Siemens, a company of well-educated snobs. As it goes, she invited me to one of her corporate parties and offered to pick the songs I wanted to get played during the event. And I picked the Tijuana Jail song. It is nice to think you walk the high road in life and are flying high above earth. But the Kingston trio can happen. And the Tijuana Jail can happen. In fact it seems that the jail is the most popular tourist attraction in Mexico because literally every single one of my white friends ended up there one way or another. Finally this article can happen. And you can hate every single one of these bad songs. But isn’t there good in every bad?



The Bubble Boy

Preface: Imagine being contacted by a powerful organization such as The OPEC Fund for International Development and being told you are receiving a check totaling $850,000 as part of their poverty eradication program. I didn’t have to imagine such a thing because I received an email telling me this very news. Now nevermind that such an organization doesn’t exist and never you ask why they would send so much money to a middle aged man with a middle class income and entirely too much free time on his hands. Who are we to question their altruistic endeavors?

In response I took on the persona of sweet young Billy Cockring, a boy so sick he lives inside of a hyperbaric bubble. Surely the good people of the fictitious OPEC Fund for International Development would cheat a sickly young lad?... Would they? (Spoiler alert: They Would.) The following is our actual email correspondence: Editor’s note: All spelling and grammatical errors have been left in to keep it authentic. From: Sarah Johnson ( To: Luca Belloiu (Me) Fri 11/15/13 7:06 PM

Your Bank Draft is with us: Contact Mr.William


Dear Customer To: From: Me Fri 11/15/13

Hello, My name is Billy Cockring. I received an email about my bank draft? I’m not quite sure what this means. Is this anything like a fantasy football draft but with banks instead of football players? Please get back to me, I don’t have long to live. Yours, Sweet Billy Cockring Bubble Boy and competitive scrapbooker.


You can as well come down to this branch to pick up your package. OPEC FUND FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT poverty eradication program, Ambassador Abdul Abdulkadir Musa from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) who came to our office last week to place your check of $850.000.00 USD on out going delivery to you, they have already paid for the insurance fee and the delivery charges. But he did not pay for the security keeping fee due to the fact that we did not know when you will be contacting us via mail or phone to inform us that we have your Check, we informed them to contact you on time so that you will not have to pay more than $50 on demurrage and we do not operate POD{Pay On Delivery} on a charge like this.


All you need to do right now to get your Check delivered to your door step is in the next 24hours is for you to go ahead and make the payment of the security keeping fee of the courier company so far. The fee is $50 only, you are to come up with this fee as to process the delivery of your package for immediate dispatch Note that as soon as you make payment of security keeping it will take 24 hours for us to deliver your parcel to you. You are to make the payment through western union money or money gram transfer so as to speed up the process of delivery. You are to locate the western union or money gram agent nearest to you and make the payment with the detail below : Receivers Name: Aruna Sule Senders Name: Address: 13A Tafawa St Jos Nigeria. mtcn number: Text Question to be used: Time? Text Answer: Out. Kindly note that your colleague did not leave us with any further information. We hope that you send your response to us as soon as possible because if you fail to respond until the expiry date of the foremost package, we may refer the package to the British Commission for Welfare as the package those not have a return address..You have to send down the MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) and your complete postal address. Reconfirm your full name, address, country and most important your phone number. Get back to us with your payment details. Note that your tracking number would be provided to you as soon as the payment has been made and confirm to us.Have a wonderful time. Please call me anytime you need any assistance. Regards Mr. Adam William Dispatch Director. Telephone: +2348170980124 x 2009 FedEx INTERNATIONAL. Global Shipping , Logistic Management and Supply Chain Management.

From: Me To: FedEx Office Sun 11/17/13 Dear Mr. William, I am just a simple boy who is forever confined to a hyperbaric bubble where I live my life like a sickly Howard Hughes. The internet is my only friend and when I breathe heavily my bubble fogs up and it is hard for me to see the faces of loved ones on those rare moments where they come and visit me. Your email is received like a rare bird that has somehow managed to find it’s way inside my disease proof bubble and nestled it’s weary beak into my concave chest. Furthermore I thank you for including your picture. You are an attractive fellow who only looks slightly ethnic therefore comes across as more trustworthy. I notice that the name on the Western Union is different than your name however. Why is that and how did the ambassador from OPEC get my information? Forgive my suspicion it’s just that I have trust issues ever since my mother’s boyfriend tried to open my bubble and throw rancid horse meat on my pillow so that I would acquire equine meningitis and die so that they may collect on the insurance money and spend it all on rare samurai swords and jet skis. My time here on Earth is limited so I want to make sure I spend my considerable wealth (I invented the telephonic horseshoe shovel) on something worthwhile. Your “poverty eradication program” sounds like just the thing, I will however need more information about it before sending you my details. Also, once I receive this sum of money I am thinking of producing the perfect Thanksgiving Day movie about a turkey that comes back to life on the dinner table and talks to the family about the dangers of drugs and premarital sex. Let me know if this interests you. Thanks, Lil’ Billy Cockring Lutheran Bubble guy Woodland Hills, CA - 818-340-5053 73


To: Me From: FedEx Office Sun 11/17/13 Attention: Customer, Regards to your mail sent to us, As soon as you make the payment of the security keeping fee it will only take us 24 hours to make delivery of your check of $850.000.00USD to you ok. You need to go and make the Payment of 50 USD by via western union money transfer with this payment details below. Receivers Name: Aruna Sule Senders Name: Address: 13A Tafawa St Jos Nigeria. mtcn number: Text Question to be used: Time? Text Answer: Out. Do get back to us after you have make the payment with the required details ok. Regards, Mr.Adam William Tel +2348170980124 Dispatch Director. © 2012 FedEx INTERNATIONAL. Global Shipping , Logistic Management and Supply Chain Management From: Me To: FedEx Office Mon 11/18/13 Hi Adam, My this is all happening so fast. Ok, since you basically wrote me the same thing as before I’m guessing you must be telling the truth. Here is my problem however. I currently live in a bubble. I’m known as The Bubble Boy. I didn’t come up with that by the way, a group of clever minded townsfolk did. I live in said bubble because I am very disease prone, thus a team of infectious disease experts devised this brilliant fiberglass dome in which quarantines me from the outside world. I am allowed only a laptop computer, a futuristic white robe made of dryer sheets, a pen knife and 7 74

back issues of Modern Bubbles Quarterly. Therefore it is quite difficult for me to go down to the Western Union to deposit your money since this bubble is not motorized. I would have my mother or her boyfriend do it but they are in Reno for the weekend watching The Oakridge Boys and huffing paint. Do you have a Paypal account I can send the money too? Better yet do you have a young Nigerian intern over there at the OPEC poverty and welfare center that can run down here with his wispy marathon legs and grab the money for you? I can also hand him that Thanksgiving Day script I told you about. It’s entitled “Lutheran Turkey and the Moral Resurrection: A story of thanks”. Let me know if that works for you. Truly yours, William Cockring Tiny bubble, big heart From: Me [A follow up] To: FedEx Office Sat 11/23/13 Hello, I hired the pizza delivery boy to take my $50 to the Western Union. Did you receive it? I also sent you a copy of my script. Did you read it? It’s ok if you hate it. Please get back tome. I’m all alone and this bubble is making strange noises. - Billy Boy, Ham Radio enthusiast From: FedEx Office To: Me Sat 11/23/13 I did not receive any payment from you okay, If you know that you make the payment you have to get back to me with the payment details. Mr William


From: Me To: FedEx Office Mon 11/25/13 at 12:27 PM

Billy Cockring Bubble spokesperson Sent from my iPhone

Hello Mr. William, The payment was made to Aruna Sule at the address you provided. The confirmation # is BKCJBNHJ900. Let me know when you receive that money so we can talk about sending me the total sum. These are exciting times Adam. Also, I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. Close to 19 hours per day. I sense there is a leak in my bubble because my wheezing has gotten a lot worse and my left arm is seven times it’s regular size. I told the pizza delivery boy to send help. If I don’t make it I want you to tell my story. I’m trusting you Mr. William. - Billy Fading quick Sent from my iPhone From: FedEx To: Me Mon 11/25/13 at 1:20 PM I am sorry i did not see the payment details okay, If you know that you make the payment you have to get back to me with the payment details and the MTCN number okay, Also get back to me with the payment slip okay, I will be waiting. Mr William To: FedEx Office: From: Me Mon 11/25/13 at 1:32 PM Don’t be sorry Adam, being in love means never having to say you’re sorry. Ok, so the MTCN # is 6277569210. My bubble doesn’t have room for a scanner so I don’t know how to send a picture of the slip unfortunately. Maybe I can just describe it for you? Are you good at charades? Which reminds me, did you ever watch that show “Win, Lose or Draw?”. I wonder what ever happened to Vicki Lawrence. Let me know if you find out.

From: FedEx Office To: Me Mon 11/25/13 at 8:45 PM You did not make any payment okay, So there is know money on the MTCN number you give to us. Mr William To: FedEx Office From: Me Tue 11/26/13 at 1:06 PM Hmmmm, I double checked the MTCN number I gave you and I’m afraid you are right. You see the problem is my oxygen level is real low and I’m experiencing the opening stages of cerebral hypoxia so forgive me if I gave you the wrong number. The correct MTCN # is 6277569310. I hope that clears things up. Also, my mom and stepdad are still gone and the pizza delivery guy won’t come here anymore because he is horrified by my appearance. Also, I rarely avert my gaze and have been known as a bit of a starer. I’ve been told that people don’t like that. Anyhoozers, I’m pretty alone and I could sure use a smile. Can you send me a picture of yourself wearing a funny hat or riding a piece of furniture while pretending it is a horse or something? That would be great. I don’t know if it’s the lack of oxygen or what but I think I’m really falling for you Adam. Have you ever been inside a giant sterile fiberglass bubble? I have...and I am…. There is a leak Adam. The light is so beautiful…… - William Howser Cockring He lived, he laughed, he loved Sent from my bubble.



SPIRIT HAWK (continued from page 53) He smiled for the first time in years. A smile not just for the skills acquired from his father and those special shared moments, but in acknowledgment to the hawk who had uncharacteristically tracked him on his three day journey south from the Stronghold - gliding with the wind and updrafts off dusty passes and granite canyon walls, while the young Apache jogged the arduous and treacherous mountain trails, crossing cactus dotted red-dirt flats, and fording rivers threading fertile valleys, as he made his way south to the hilly, harsh and hostile lands of northern Sonora. In her death his mother had been renamed Spirit Hawk, and he now understood her spirit flew with this hawk perched quietly close to him. The night was cold. He felt nothing but the cool whispers of desert rodents as they scurried from holes beneath the rocks behind which he crouched, brushing past him on their way to small adventures while searching for food under cover of the semi-darkness of a crescent moon. He worked the bloodstained and well-oiled, dark leather strips that strapped the pole to the forged steel blade of the serrated dagger taken by his father from the body of 78

a Spanish Soldier decades before after he too had transitioned from apprentice warrior - dikohe. The hawk caught it first. And soon the young Apache heard the hooves of a horse as it edged up to the adobe dwelling. The mercenary slid from its back, unhooked the saddle and closed the horse into the crude corral. He looked smaller, less threatening, not at all like the monster seared into the young Apache’s imagination - an image that had driven his vengeful heart for as long as he could remember. The mercenary threw the saddle over a wooden horse. Aware of another presence, he paused, turned, and looked out into the half-light. The emerging light played across the snowy white and speckled-tan breast of the hawk perched on the rock. Muttering, he drew his revolver and took careful aim. Like a ghostly leader of tormented spirits filling the night, Wolf Child rose from the rocks, and with precision, speed and power hurled the lance. It cut through the night with a whisper heard only by those spirits whose scalps, nipples and ears that had been ripped away by its target. Striking the mercenary’s sternum with such force, it tore through his body and split his

spine, pinning him to the wooden horse. Paralyzed, his body collapsed, folding forward, held up only by the lance. He bellowed like a stuck buffalo - a sound that echoed off the canyon walls as if the restless spirits were tossing it between themselves, before hurling it back, to be consumed and transformed into a gurgle as blood erupted from his mouth. The hawk lifted into the air with a triumphant scream. Wolf Child moved slowly from the rocks up to the dying but still conscious mercenary, blood seeping from the devastating wound through his chest. The young Apache placed an open deerskin bag on the dirt. He lifted the man’s head by the hair and looked into his eyes. Though dying, the mercenary could still make out the face of the young Apache who was about to do to him what he had done to so many. There was no fear in his eyes just pain. Perhaps he was thinking, this is an Apache, Apache’s don’t scalp. Wolf Child spit curses as he drew the knife across the man’s forehead. And with several swift strokes he tore off the Mercenary’s scalp. He held it in front of the man’s eyes before dropping it into the pouch at his feet. The young Apache lifted

the bloody disfigured head by the chin, and the man screamed through blood erupting like vomit from his mouth as each eyeball was slowly scooped from its socket. He placed the eyes into the pouch next to the scalp. The mercenary began to convulse. Death was close. With power only years of pent up hatred and vengeance for this day could fuel, the young Apache plunged his knife into the man’s chest, hacked away the surface muscle and flesh, gripped two ribs and snapped them apart like a wishbone fully exposing the still beating heart. He reached in and with a final blood curdling cry ripped it from the cavity, tearing it free from ligaments, veins and arteries. Blood pumping in bursts over his face and chest, the young Apache held the heart high for all the tormented spirits to celebrate. Dropping the twitching organ into the pouch along with the scalp and eyes, he worked the lance back and forth, wrenching it from the wooden horse. The mutilated body slipped free from the blade and fell to the dirt. He laid out the arms, placing a flat rock under each wrist, and, with powerful strokes, hacked off the very hands that had savaged his mother and wrenched him from her


womb, dropping them into the pouch along with the other organs. He turned and looked to the hawk hovering above hoping for some sense of relief to penetrate his cold heart. Instead, as if satisfied its own generation of suffering was finally coming to an end, the hawk let out an extended rasping scream and flew north into the night. The young Apache removed the necklace of nipples from the mercenary, tightened the pouch’s drawstring, headed for the corral, and secured both around the horse’s neck. Crossing to the trough, he immersed himself in the water, allowing the icecold spring flowing from its source in the canyon wall to fall over his face. He stayed until the cold numbed him from head to toe. After washing the mercenary’s blood from his face and chest, he climbed out, shook himself like a dog, took the horse by the reins, and tethered it to a pinyon pine across the canyon from the corral. Long and arduous, but soon he’d collected enough dry brush to stack around the adobe and the mercenary’s corpse. Using a flint he found inside the hut he set the fire. Quickly all was engulfed. Flames and sparks shot into the night sky like beacons to the many tormented spirits savaged by this dead

butcherer. He slid onto the horse, headed north, and never looked back. Voices of the restless spirits of those whose dried nipples were strung on the necklace hanging from the neck of the horse urged him on throughout a hard day and a half ride back to the Stronghold. Flies buzzed the deerskin pouch and the stench from the rotting organs rose with the sun, and as he rounded the last of the granite pinnacles, he found the hawk perched on a rock close by, and the two wolves he’d seen across the canyon before leaving for Sonora seated beside Coated Mother. She lay outstretched on the edge of the overlook, barely able to lift her head to acknowledge his approach. The young Apache slipped from the horse and ran to the wolf’s side. He cradled and softly stroked the old gray wolf’s head and whispered in her ear. He thanked her for his life, told of the journey south and the avenged death of the mercenary. The old gray wolf lifted her head, looked from him to her own two offspring one last time, and with a final long deep sigh, fell back into his arms. The wolves began a low howl, the hawk let out a short cry, the horse whinnied, birds flew from their perches in scrub oaks, cottonwoods, the elephant

tree, and the nooks and crannies of surrounding granite pinnacles, and a gust blew across the ground, ruffling the coat of the dead wolf. The wind rolled the dust into a fine cloud, pushing it out over the edge of the overlook. For a moment the wind waned, creatures were quiet, and the cloud hung suspended above the entrance to the wolf’s lair. Then with a sudden updraft burst of warm air, the fine dust cloud blew apart and disappeared. A gentle breeze whispered across the overlook. The two wolves lay down next to the young Apache and the hawk drew closer, the four ringing the dead old gray wolf. As the sun fell, the young Apache rose from the vigil and retrieved the necklace. He stood on the overlook wondering how he was to complete the burial for his birth mother’s spirit to be free if he knew not which of the many hardened nipples, strung on the leather like dried raisins, were hers. The hawk flew back and forth across the entrance to the lair, and the young Apache understood. Through the gathering dusk he collected rocks to fill the lair, entombing the wolf and necklace. He laid the final rock, ran his hands over the walled up entrance, stood back, turned and looked out across the canyon.

The hawk flew up and hovered before him. First touching his heart, the young Apache stretched his hands to the reddening sky and opened his arms as if releasing Spirit Hawk’s restless spirit. The hawk let out an extended screech, flew across the canyon, and disappeared into the sunset. And as he’d seen his father, Cochise, do so often, with a final salute to his mother the young Apache fluttered his hand across his chest. Back up on the overlook the young Apache cut a limb from the elephant tree, sharpening both ends before driving it into the dirt at the spot of his birth and mother’s death. He opened the pouch and removed the two hands, heart, scalp and eyeballs. Clasping the fingers of the severed hands around the heart, and with a skewer he’d fashioned from a sapling, drove it through one hand, into the heart, and out through the second. He then impaled the combined organs of the dead mercenary on the sharpened tip of the limb before placing each eyeball in the crux of the thumb and forefinger, and capping it all with the scalp. The two wolves watched the young Apache work from the shadows of the pinnacles. When he’d finished and stood back, they trotted up and sat next to him, one on each side. 79


The macabre object he had created looked strangely like hands clinging desperately to an ever-shrinking head. Above him two vultures appeared and began a slow circle. He bent down and rubbed the chests of the wolves. A rock lying between them caught his eye and he picked it up. He held it for a moment then flipped it. There was something about how it fit whichever way he held it, that gave him a warm flush through his heart. He retrieved the lance, took one final look around the overlook - place of his mother’s death and his

own savage birth. Holding the rock and lance high above his head, the young Apache let out a cry that echoed through the canyon and beyond. His cry still reverberating, he crossed to the horse and slid onto its back. The wolves howled as he rode away, the echoes of which blended with and rekindle his fading cry. The mercenary was his first and last kill, and from that day he was known as No Life Without Blood. * * * * I entombed Grandma with her kin and the lone wolf, cleared my footprints, sprinkled brush

and rocks across the ledge and dusted the freshly walled up lair. The lone hawk dropped to within a few feet of where I stood, one eye switching back and forth from the lair to me. I fluttered my hand across my chest. With a wink, the hawk drifted back, screeched, turned and flew out across the canyon and disappeared. by WILLIE MANGAS



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