Do not let doctors prescribe opiate painkillers to your kids!

This is not a funny post. But it’s important. I have two friends whose children recently overdosed on heroin. I have another two friends with a son and niece, both top high-school students who injured themselves during school sponsored sporting events who are now addicted to painkillers. What one friend shared with me, is that it’s not so much that the painkillers make them feel good as you might think. It’s that when they stop taking them, they fall into such a deep dark depression, that they have to continue to take them to feel normal.

So, how are prescription drugs and heroin addiction related? Several reports have shown that when the prescription drug addict can no longer get any pills from their doctor, it’s cheaper to buy a related drug (heroin, another opiate) on the street. Either way. These prescription drugs are killing our kids. “Accidental overdose”, is a term you’ll hear more and more lately.

Sadly, self-interest and profit often come before what is best for our society and our kids. How can these doctors hand out Vicodin, Oxycontin and other opiates to our 17 and 18 year old kids without even blinking about the possible consequences?  I keep thinking about a car accident I had when I was badly injured and on crutches for weeks while still working normal hours. Because of the trauma, my immune system was shot, and I kept getting sick. At the doctors,  with a terrible bout of bronchitis, I started sobbing. Mind you, I wasn’t even sad – just exhausted as I hadn’t slept due to the coughing and again, was continuing to work hard which is my nature. Immediately the prescription pad came out and more than one anti-depressant in addition to the cough syrup and antibiotic were prescribed. When I asked what the other two prescriptions were and was told they were anti-depressants, I was floored. Needless to say, I declined the two big drug company add-ons. Similarly, I’m picturing these kids in pain, injured during a football game, or a cheer leading accident – like sitting ducks in their doctors’ offices – vulnerable and tired, just doing as they’re told and taking whatever is prescribed to them without any idea that weeks into their treatment, they may very well be addicted to pills.

People may of course take heroin without first being exposed to what is some call “heroin lite” (opiate painkillers). But either way, the trend is frightening. According to the National Institute of Health, from 2001 to 2013, there was a 5-fold increase in the total number of heroin overdose deaths. FIVE FOLD!

We can, together, tell our doctors not to prescribe opiate painkillers to our children and young adults. Sometimes pain happens and a little over-the-counter medication may just do the trick. I’m hoping that some sort of legislation may also do the trick. Before it happens to you or someone you love, write your government representative and let them know how you feel about doctors prescribing opiates to young adults and children.

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Joseph Pilates may be rolling around in his grave

This will be quick. When I first discovered Pilates using a reformer, I was elated. I had been in a horrible car accident and traditional reformer Pilates classes helped me in ways I cannot even describe. Upper back pain? Gone. Neck pain? Buh bye.


Now, many college age females with an entrepreneurial spirits are opening Pilates studios in their neighborhoods and putting their own spin on traditional Pilates.  Maybe it will be mixed with free weights, or aerobics, or a ballet barre. Maybe we should use this piece of equipment for something for which it was not intended. Let’s be creative. Let’s mix it up. Let’s do something different because we’re bored. Here’s the problem. When you use the Pilates reformer in ways in which it was not designed, you risk injuring your students. After the last class I took using a special offer, I tweaked my knee and my lower back – badly. Please make sure if you invent new exercises, that you do your homework to assure that you aren’t putting your students at risk.




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How to fire or break up with someone – 101

Do you remember the episode of , “Sex in the City” , when Carrie’s boyfriend broke up with her by placing a stick-um on her computer? Then this happened – one of the largest U.S. National mortgage companies  just fired at least three of their employees in one of their offices in this fashion:

1. Employee 1 logged onto work computer.

2. Screen said “This employee has been terminated. Please see human resources.”

3. Repeat until everyone is logged in for the day and either still has their job – or NOT.

I'll be back. But you won't.

This really happened. These poor people were stomped out like little ants who don’t matter. What human resource genius came up with this method considering that the rest of the employee pool who were not fired and seemingly valuable members of the company were sweating bullets and thinking, “Am I next?” Many hadn’t even logged into their computers yet. Who wants to work for a company where they treat their employees this poorly?

Ideally, if you fire someone, they should know it’s coming based upon not achieving clear goals laid out as part of their job description. In sales? You must sell X number of products or risk being terminated. True leaders who manage (not just managers who pretend to lead) communicate these goals with their staff. Plus a handful of actions that will get you fired – no exceptions. Stealing? Buh bye. Sleeping with the staff? See ya! Late to work? Understood but if it happens X number of times more in a defined period of time, you will be let go. Granted that layoffs are a different monkey but at least everyone goes down with the ship in groups.

But when you are terminating someone not associated with a massive layoff, the first thing out of your mouth should be, “I’m letting you go and here’s why…”. Always start with “I’m letting you go….”. Do not START with discussing their goals first because they will get confused and not understand the message. Then they will say things like, “I’ll do better next month”, or “My numbers are improving – just wait and see!”, this while their last paycheck you have hidden behind your back is starting to soften from the sweat in your palm. Just say it and be done with it.

Similarly, if you’re breaking up with someone, just say, “I’m breaking up with you”. Do not say, “We need to talk”, or, “Let’s discuss our relationship”. You can either take the bandaid off the scabbed wound slowly or quickly. Just do it. It will still hurt, but just a little less – and the wound will heal as will their dignity.

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The Lost Art

The art of music has been on a downward spiral at least since the late 20th Century. While some genres have progressed the general state of the art has taken a headlong dive into the abyss. Judging from the aesthetic value, or lack thereof, mainstream music is on its death bed. With each passing year the artistic standards have dropped lower and lower until now it’s life is being pounded into the ground. And the certain cause of death can be clearly attributable to crass commercialism.

In their never-ending quest to make a buck by dumbing down the art to the lowest common denominator music marketers have squeezed every last bit of creative substance from the art. Rap is one of the highest grossing genres, but it is more like poetry than music. Electronica is another form of pseudo-music growing in popularity due to our passive, push-button society. Today’s youth are too distracted by digital gadgetry, and mastering a real musical instrument is too much like work.

While the entertainment and electronics industries control much of the sounds and substance being foisted on us, the real culprit behind the the art’s demise is the educational establishment. The conventional music instructional methodology is based on the study of music theory and performing standard works composed by others. They teach nothing about original creativity. Music is an art, and art is an original creation. Yet music schools avoid artistic creativity like the plague. It’s not part of their business model. They’re in business to make a profit, not to make art. That’s because you can’t teach talent. And that’s why music is quickly  becoming a lost art.

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Sometimes when I’m watching the news and commercials I feel like I’ve smoked something that lets me see through the bullshit instead of seeing the events presented wearing rose colored glasses.  Yet, like a spectator in front of a burning building surrounded by fire fighters and people braced to jump out of smoke-filled windows, I just cannot take my eyes off of the unfolding disaster.


Cut to the latest ditty about the leader of the NAACP faking her race to get ahead. Wait, she’s f-ing white?! Are you serious? She had long toe-head hair as a kid? Her parents exposed her? How did she get her hair to look that way? Why would she want people to think she was black? Perhaps to gain sympathy, scholarships, jobs and power?

Rachel Dolezal before and after

Enough with the questions. Okay here is one more albeit perhaps an odd comparison. If you have kids trying to get into college, have you ever come close to what she did? I have friends who have. Their well-paid college entrance private counselors have told them to empty out their bank savings to increase the funds they can get from the state. Also, they should check something other than “caucasian” on their kids’ college applications if they can.  Plus, their kids were coached that when they write their college entrance essays, they should dig deep to find their life “challenges” (like my mother turned to prostitution after my parents’ divorce….) Why? Because those challenges can weigh as much as 25% out of 100 when the admittance committee (at U.C.L.A. for example) is trying to differentiate them from a huge barrel of nothing but bright shiny apples with 4.5 grade point averages. So, heck, aren’t we all in some ways doing whatever it takes to get ahead? Not that I’m condoning this behavior. The point is that we may be guilty of similar behavior even if  not such an egregious fashion.


Chris Rock said when discussing the Columbine shootings, “Ain’t anyone ever heard of CRAZY?” My hunch is that Rachel is indeed a little crazy. But crazy or not – if she is as smart as I think she must be to have pulled this off for so many years, she may be able to reinvent herself. Remember when Vanessa Williams had to give up her beauty crown when the nude photos of her were leaked? Most people don’t even remember that about her because she’s such an amazingly talented singer and Julliard trained musician who finally got to show us her substance instead of just her beautiful face. Talent always rules. But in Rachel’s case, what could she do? Write a book, “My life as an ex-white woman?” Maybe she can swab the inside of her cheek, send it to one of those DNA labs that spit your family history and ethnicity back at you like it really matters and who knows – maybe a great great grandfather was an African-American and then she can say, “Hey, I told you all I was black!”. But even if that’s the case, as some comic said when discussing some other black-ish person, the closest thing to picking cotton that she or her family ever experienced was pulling cotton out of an aspirin bottle. She probably needs a lot more aspirin lately.


I say, she may have a future helping people with flat hair style their hair to look hip because her hair is seriously impressive. Maybe some sort of electric crimper with her name on it – sold on late night TV.  “Sick of your boring, flat, white-girl hair? Introducing the Rachel Dolezal Black-ish Hair Styler!  If you buy one now you don’t just get one – you get TWO for the price of one!” Two races. Too many lies. Too crazy.



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Introducing Miss Crystal Meth and the new top killer in the US

Drugs are really really bad. I know that sounds ridiculously obvious. But for some reason, many people are forgetting this fact and succumbing to the addicting and insidious nature of drugs. Two of my friends’ sons overdosed last year. Fucking devastating. All I keep seeing is their little innocent faces and their beach blond hair before they did it – took drugs for the first time – and never looked back.

But the new wrench in the drug industry’s engine – is the so-called “legal” drugs like Oxycontin. Another couple of my friends’ young , amazingly gifted, hopeful cherubs – a child and a niece who were straight A students and athletes are now addicted to Oxycontin after their physicians prescribed the drug to them for sports injuries. It has ruined their and their families lives at least thus far filling their days with weeks that have turned into months of rehab and emptying their bank accounts and leaving them asking, what’s next?

According the to US Department of Justice,  2009  was the first year in the US when more people died from overdosing than from automobile accidents. They blame this frightening statistic on the fact that prescription drugs are now being abused at “unprecedented levels” – more than the most popular illegal drugs combined.

Someone shared with me that the reason it is so hard for their family member to get off the Oxy is not because it makes them feel good when they take it like many of us may assume. Of course some sort of “high”  may be why they take it a second , third or fourth time. But an interesting fact is that after being on it, they need to take it to just feel normal because when they stop taking it they fall into a deep, dark depression that is only relieved by taking the drug again. How fucked up is that?

Seriously, when are we going to get a clue and do something to outlaw drugs like this? What responsible doctor, knowing how addicting this drug can be would prescribe it to an 18-year-old?

PLEASE do whatever it takes to talk to your kids about the dangers of drugs – EVEN prescription drugs. Aspirin and physical therapy might just do the trick. And don’t take prescriptive drugs yourselves where your kids can find them, share them with their friends and/or be enticed to sell them for sometimes around $100 a pill to those who are already addicted and desperate. Thanks doc!

before and after crystal meth


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Clint Eastwood singing badly in a movie musical western

I am a big Clint Eastwood fan. So needless to say, I was taken aback when I fell upon this shocking video. Well, not shocking really. Just strange in retrospect. The story is that he was signed to one of the “big studios” back in the day when actors were exclusive to one or the other. But seriously, a musical western?


What I find the most fascinating about what this clip represents is how atrocious and just plain horrible he is and yet, he prevailed amazingly in Hollywood doing something completely different – namely being a snarky, clever speaking tough guy. I mean if we were sitting in the viewing room at the time and someone wanted to bet us that he would become a BIG star someday, we would have lost money.

Oh the fact that he is amazingly good-looking couldn’t have hurt. Come to think of it that’s probably why he prevailed. But, still a lesson none the less. Persevere, change-up your game plan oh, and try to always look as good as possible.

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Dear waitress, please don’t spray windex on the tables while I’m eating

I didn’t want to be the one to say it, but looks like no one else has figured it out. Dear semi-favorite restaurant, please refrain from having your servers spray windex on tables to clean them while people are sitting and eating nearby, in fact a few inches away. The fumes smell bad and ruin the dining experience. Spray the towel and then wipe the table.

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